Darcy is all about hockey and I love baseball. We’ve done a couple hockey trips and I decided that it was time we started adding more baseball into the mix. I would love to see a ball game at every MLB ball park in North America, so I have started officially checking off the list. It was a no-brainer that Dodger Stadium had to be next when we scored cheap airfare to California.
Since the demolition of Yankee and Shea Stadiums, Dodger Stadium is now the third oldest ballpark, ranking well behind Wrigley (1916) and Fenway (1912). Dodger Stadium is one of twelve Major League Baseball stadiums without a corporate-sponsored name attached to it.
When we first drove up to Dodger Stadium, we looked around, shocked. We had never seen so much parking at a stadium before. 16,000 parking spots, and the fact that with the stadium’s size, seating 56,000 fans, it couldn’t be seen from the highway like every other stadium we have seen, was impressive. All that is visible of the stadium is its light towers, that can be seen from the I-5 a couple miles before the Stadium Way exit. The stadium is on 300 acres, with the parking taking up a considerable amount of that space, so traffic lights are needed within the parking lots to preserve order.
We sat in the upper deck between home plate and first base and the seats were fantastic. While the stadium is huge, watching a ball game there feels impressively intimate. This has to do with how the stadium was built, with the smallest lower deck of modern stadiums. This means that the higher decks are positioned closer to the infield than normal. Even though we were sitting in the upper deck’s infield, we felt like our seats had a gorgeous view of the ball game. We bought our tickets for less than face value, so the $14/ticket price ended up really being a crazy steal of a deal.
The 56,000 seats are now back to their vintage pastel colour scheme of yellow, light orange, turquoise and sky blue, with each colour representing California, the ocean and beach.
When we go to a ball park, we always like to try something new and interesting. We had out first baseball hat full of nachos and tried the famous Dodger Dog. The Dodger Dogs weren’t as “gourmet” with fun toppings as we were expecting with such a big deal made over them, but a grilled Dodger Dog still hit the spot.
Before the ball game, we took a tour of Dodger Stadium and were surprised when we were the only ones that had shown up for the tour that day, giving us a private tour experience and giving us the opportunity to really talk to our tour guides, Marc and Jon, and get a lot of extra information and commentary from them. They were both so passionate about the Dodgers and baseball that it was such a pleasure to be able to chat with them and have them show us around.
Take a look at some of the cool memorabilia we saw:
My favourite part of a ball park tour is getting to go on the field. I played ball for years growing up and I sometimes really miss it now, so going to a ball game and getting to step in the dirt of the field is the most magical part of the tour for me. Growing up “I grew up tomboy” and I would always joke with my brother that I would be the first female MLB player and stepping on the field always brings back all that magic and fantasy.
If you’re at a Dodgers game this year, make sure you get to the game early enough to witness a great showing of respect that has never been seen before and may never be seen again after this year. Before the first pitch is thrown out, after the managers from both teams meet at home plate with all the umpires to exchange lineup cards and to go over ground rules, you’ll notice the umpires will turn and face the Dodger Stadium press box and will either tip their hat or wave to Vin Scully, the man who has been named “The Voice of Baseball”. It’s subtle and brief, so you have to watch for it, but it will put a smile on your face. No other broadcaster at any other ballpark in the MLB has ever received this show of respect from the men in blue.
Have you had the chance to visit or tour any great baseball stadiums? Which one is your favourite?