13 January 2012

the outfield wall in blue heaven

first things first - i have updated last week's post on the dodger stadium bullpens to correctly identify the back walls as plastic, not metal. thanks to speigel for reminding me.  i also
added a couple of cards showing the flora that currently adorns those blue walls.  go back and check it out.

now that that is out of the way, we'll visit another part of the stadium that has seen it's share of changes.  you all know i'm not referring to the bathrooms.  no, it's the outfield walls of which i speak.  for most of their existence, the walls were just blue.  a nice blue in contrast to the orange and yellow benches in the pavilions. 
(by the way, welcome to the blog, mr. bournigal.  sorry it's taken me so long to feature one of your cards).  see that 1995 topps stadium card?  nice colors make for a pretty card.

i began to notice in the early 90's, although it may have been happening for who knows how long before that, that the dodgers would adorn the outfield wall with championship banners on opening day.  if you look closely at the back of this 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams (shameless plug) card, you can see the big white banners.
there would be six in all - 1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, and 1988 - evenly spaced from left to right field. 

that was all temporary, though, and the walls would go back to being just blue.  then, in the late 1990's and early 2000's, the dodgers began to use the wall as a canvas for some really great murals.  murals that recognized dodger hall of famers one year, cy young award winners another year, or world championships another, as seen on devon white's 1999 fleer si card.  
the white sox and cardinals and braves have all done something similar.  i think it is permanent at the cell and new busch stadium.  i like that kind of nod to the past.  like a good rug, it can really pull the room together.

in 2003, out of town scoreboards were added to the walls near each bullpen.  here's hee seop choi's 2004 fleer ultra card to provide some proof.
2004, of course, is when frank mccourt got to town, and he had no use for wasting outfield wall space on murals celebrating the history of the franchise or even just providing a nice color backdrop.  no, he needed to sell advertising space, and he went full bore the following year.  right julio lugo?
right.  that reebok ad isn't too obnoxious, i guess.  except at night, when the signs are lit.  here's ryan theriot's 2011 topps card to show what i mean.
yes, that's dodger stadium with theriot airbrushed into cardinal red.  at least topps put him in away grays.

i know that revenue is important and that most, if not all, other teams sell space on their outfield walls.  maybe, just maybe, however, the new owner could tone it down a bit.  or at least roll out the banners for old time's sake.

1 comment:

Stealing Home said...

great write up, and most excellent suggestion. i loathe the way they desecrated my church.
here's hoping for a nod to the old days.