i've been meaning to do this for a long time. i took a quick look at the evolution of the dodger stadium outfield wall in a previous post, but i didn't take the time to document what the theme of the murals were. some years it was obvious - retired numbers - but other years seemed more eclectic.
i was a big fan of the murals, even though i was not able to attend too many games during their presence. i mostly remember the outfield wall looking like it does on this 2000 mlb showdown card
sometimes, usually (only?) opening day, the dodgers would get out the big world championship banners and put them on the walls. in 1998, however, they began using photo murals in the outfield. there was a different theme for each year from '98 through 2004. i thought i had a pretty good bead on what the murals were each year after some research, and dodger historian mark langill was kind enough to confirm things for me via email. thanks mark (he's got the greatest job in the world). on with the post.
1998 world championships/retired numbers mural
in 1999, the dodgers added their hero patches to their uniforms, and the mural honored those players who were included in the patch selection. here's a 2000 topps stadium club devon white card
that shows kirk gibson and the right ear of pee wee reese (i believe). reese's teammate gil hodges' part of the mural shows up on derek jeter's 2000 upper deck card
darryl kile's 2000 fleer ultra card
ray lankford's 2000 topps gallery card
is not to be ignored, with lankford spiking mike scioscia's image on the wall. that's a great card and all, but here's a photo that i would have rather made its way onto cardboard (again from getty images)
it's a picture of ken griffey junior and don newcombe and scioscia - this time you can see his face. as for the garv, he was on the wall again, but i couldn't find any cards featuring his part of the mural, unfortunately.
in 2000, the dodgers went with the theme of great moments in dodger stadium history, including the saving of the american flag by then cub rick monday, and this moment
i believe that gibson's home run was voted the greatest sports moment in los angeles history, by the way. i don't know if garvey was on this wall, as i didn't get to chavez ravine in 2000 and there certainly isn't any cardboard that i've found with any of the mural in the background.
for the 2001 season, the dodgers revisited their retired numbers, doing so in a more formal fashion. this 2001 upper deck gold glove card of darin erstadit was the first non-dodger card ever featured on this blog in what was the third post in this blog's existence. sadly, steve garvey was not part of this mural, as his number 6 will not be retired by the dodgers unless he is voted into the hall of fame by the veteran's committee.
2002 was the year that the team celebrated 40 years of dodger stadium, complete with comemmorative patches on their sleeves and a new mural on the wall. they used a different player from each even year from 1962 to 2002. tommy davis was '62, shawn green was '02, and steve garvey was '76 (as seen in this getty images photo)
...well, garvey made the mural in 2003 and a card the following year as the team recognized dodger record holders on their outfield wall. the 2003 mural included the likes of sandy koufax's 382 strikeouts in a single season (still a modern national league and left-handed pitcher record), as well as the team's record setting infield of garvey, cey, russell, and lopes. that's the mural that made it on to preston wilson's 2004 fleer ultra card
with steve garvey representing! very thankful to fleer for making this card!
garvey had no chance at the 2004 mural, as the dodgers honored their cy young award winners that year. here's 1974 winner, mike marshall on carlos beltran's 2005 fleer card
(with a cameo from eric gagne's arm), and, of course, fernando valenzuela on steve finley's 2005 fleer ultra card
lord, i miss the murals.