30 September 2008

blue heaven

now that yankee stadium is history, dodger stadium is the third oldest stadium in the majors, behind only fenway park and wrigley field. i grew up in socal, and went to my first game in 1974. after that, we would go to a few games each year, always arriving in time for batting practice. i will never forget watching willie stargell, willie mccovey, and others taking bp. when i became a working stiff, i would sometimes have meetings up in glendale, and i would stop at the stadium on the way home in the off season. i would sit in the seats and stare at the field. of course, i also went to several games a year, but these times were different. the field and the stadium were the focus.

this card is from the 2008 topps dodgers premium 55 card set.

i have been on the field a couple of times - camera day as a kid, and for an elton john/eric clapton concert in the early 90's. that time, i walked over to the right side of the infield and scooped up some clay from behind first. sure, it was eric karros' territory and not garvey's, but it was in the ballpark, so to speak. since i moved to the midwest 11 years ago, i have only been back two or three times, but i have taken time each trip to just appreciate dodger stadium. believe me, when your adopted home town team plays in a dome with a hefty bag for an outfield fence, you appreciate a jewel like dodger stadium.
i mentioned before that i collect cards that feature photos taken in dodger stadium. usually it's the bright yellow field level seats that give it away, or sometimes a dodger in his home whites sneaks into the picture of the opposing player featured on the card.

another giveaway is the outfield wall when they featured murals of past teams and players. for example, there's marvin benard of the giants on his 2002 upper deck card playing the outfield as walter alston smiles behind him with the knowledge that the angels are going to beat the giants in the world series and that marvin will be named in the mitchell report.
i don't know if it will be as easy to find these types of cards now that the seats at field level are not quite as bright, but i do know that i won't stop looking.

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