June 2009

Dodgers Magazine

I don’t know how this is possible, but when we approached Vin Scully a couple months back about being on the cover of Dodgers Magazine, he said that he does not believe he’s ever been on the cover. Well, after 60 years, we’re finally changing that (the magazine hasn’t been around that long but this is his 60th year behind the mic). You can get a copy at Dodger Stadium starting tonight or you can get a subscription, but it’s a great cover story by Eric Neel of ESPN.com so check it out.

Meahwhile, over at Psychollingy, Eric Collins weighs in with this latest…

And here’s tonight’s Dodger lineup:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Ethier, RF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Castro, 2B

Ellis, C

Bills, P

A special visitor…

Former longtime Dodger executive Dick Walsh visited Dodger Stadium on Friday with his son and grandson. The former Los Angeles High baseball standout joined the Dodgers’ Double-A Ft. Worth Cats of the Texas League in 1948 after his military service. Walsh worked his way up the ladder and returned to Los Angeles in 1957 when the Dodgers purchased the L.A. Angels of the Pacific Coast League. As assistant general manager, Walsh served as Walter O’Malley’s representative during the construction of Dodger Stadium. Walsh became the first director of stadium operations in 1962.

During Friday’s visit, Walsh spent time with Dodger owner Frank McCourt and ran into some familiar faces, including broadcasters Vin Scully, Jaime Jarrin, and longtime Dodger employee Bill DeLury.

Near the entrance to the Top of the Park Gift Store, there is a plaque from the stadium dedication ceremonies on April 12, 1962, two days after the home opener against Cincinnati. The plaque includes the names of O’Malley, architect Emil Praeger, chief field engineer Ira Hoyt, Vinnell Constructors and “Dick Walsh, V. Pres. Stadium Coordinator.”

Walsh, 84, was asked to pose next to the plaque and he eventually pointed to his name at the bottom of the plaque, which caught the attention of a Dodger fan about to walk into the store.

“Is that you?” he asked, prompting a modest nod from Walsh. The fan shook Walsh’s hand and said, “I just want to thank you for building such a beautiful stadium.”

– Mark Langill

What a day!

We truly hope you enjoyed the inaugural Inside the Dodgers Tour…it’ll be hard to top this one next year but we’re going to try. As I’m sure many of you have seen, MLB.com did a huge story on the afternoon, with photos, video, and an article that will help Joe Pierre remember this day forever. It is my true hope that others will see this and create their own online communities around their team, as this has become a really great place for fans to congregate.

More than anything, I want to thank you all for coming together to suggest this idea, thinking to ask Frank McCourt to bring Mr. Pierre out, and then taking such good care of Mr. Pierre while he was here. It was cool to see everyone rally around him, take him to lunch, and really make this an unforgettable weekend for a lifelong fan.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stop by the seats last night, as I was in Lake Elsinore, but it sounds like those of you who made it got the chance to see Frank when he stopped by the seats. He was really excited to meet you all, as I’m sure you could tell.

A special thanks to Dustin for coordinating the tour, Kris for helping set up the tickets, and all the people in our office who helped make Joe Pierre’s weekend a memorable one. He’s off to the airport in a couple hours for just his second flight since the early 60s…we’ll look forward to hearing of his safe return to the east coast.

Manny goes deep…

Manny just homered on a 1-0 pitch here in Lake Elsinore to start the game. I'm pretty sure that's his first career leadoff homer.

Reminder(s)

Today is the Inside the Dodgers tour of the stadium at 11:30 and then a large group of people are going to the game, too.

And don’t forget that tomorrow, Jon Weisman will be signing copies of his book at the stadium, too! 100 Things Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die is a must read for any ITDer…there will be a quiz at the end of the season! Well, not really, but I loved reading it and was surprised that even after working at the team for 15 years, I still learned a ton!

Tribute to Michael Jackson

 

11.30.84 jackson 1.JPGThe picture above is from the Victory Tour at Dodger Stadium on Nov. 30, 1984…which just so happened to be my first-ever concert of any kind.

Tonight, during our Friday Night Fireworks, we’ll pay tribute to the music of Michael Jackson, who was undoubtedly the biggest entertainer of his generation. It’s weird to think that kids born within the last few years will see Michael Jackson in the same way as I see Elvis Presley…an entertainer from my parents’ generation who passed away right around the time I was born. Hard to even fathom how big he was in his heydey…

UPDATE:

Tonight’s lineup:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Kershaw, P

Hope to see all you at the tour tomorrow…Joe Pierre has landed in LA!

 

Series finale in Chi-town…and a farewell to Albuquerque

A good chance to watch the game during work today! Last night here in Albuquerque, Kim Ng and I watched the Dodger game on MLB.TV and it had been a while since I used the product because usually I’m at the game. Wow – the quality was incredible and the features that are a part of it are awesome…pop-up in-game box scores, the ability to just flip back to another inning and watch from there on. It’s really pretty amazing how far MLB.com has come since the two years I worked there in 2001-02. Kudos to their technology group… 

And if you guys haven’t seen the new at-bat app for iPhone, that’s another one that is mind-boggling. Impressive video quality on your handheld. Makes me remember the days that people would bring their portable TV, with the rabbit ears antennae, to various events to watch the Dodgers or Lakers, etc. Fifty years from now, they’ll just be implanting chips in our heads and we can just think of the Dodger game and it’ll appear in our minds, live!

Anyway, as I post from the Albuquerque airport, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the Isotopes’ staff for its help over the past few days. They have handled Manny’s time here with great class and professionalism and we’re extremely grateful to Ken Young (the owner), John Traub (the GM), Steve Hurlbert (the PR director) and the rest of their great front office for their hospitality. Manny will play tonight here and then head home tomorrow before the game at Lake Elsinore on Saturday…

By the way, whoever dug up that random video of the Skateboard Angel song from the 70s…that’s a great find. You actually had me looking at it because Ned was, in fact, a keyboard player in a band back in college and I thought you were onto something. Unfortunately, it’s only the ‘stache that matches but I’ll definitely show it to Ned!

Here’s the lineup in Chicago…

Pierre, LF

Martin, DH

Hudson, 2B

Blake, 3B

Kemp, CF

Loretta, 1B

Jones, RF

Ausmus, C

Castro, SS

Billingsley, P

This surely means that the regulars will all be in the lineup tomorrow night for the homestand opener. Hope you’ll be there, too if not Saturday!

 

Plenty going on…

Lots of headlines yesterday and today from Manny’s visit here to Albuquerque. There’s no doubt, it’s been a bit of a circus atmosphere as this town is simply not used to having someone of his stature here. And the state’s biggest sports star, Brian Urlacher, happens to be hosting a football clinic for kids across the street from the baseball stadium, so it’s been interesting.

But, everyone is trying to remember that the point of this visit is for Manny to get himself into playing shape and that’s what we’re here to try and help him do.

Out in Chi-city, as Kanye likes to call it, the Dodgers grabbed another win last night and man, did Kuroda look good (on TV, that is). What a huge boost to have him back and healthy.

Over at Psychollingy (can’t seem to get the link working here), we got two posts, one from Eric about the minors and one from Steve about his weekend at the Hall of Fame, so be sure to check it out and let them know what you think. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s pretty cool that fans can interact with the broadcasters and perhaps even get their topics or questions discussed on air. That’s a very cool benefit of modern technology and it certainly seems like the way of the future.

 UPDATE

Raining here in Albuquerque…tarp’s on the field so not sure what will become of tonight’s game. Far less media here than yesterday…

In Chicago, here’s the lineup:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Blake, 3B

Ethier, RF

Loretta, DH

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Kemp, CF

Wolf, P

Here in Albuquerque

Posting from a box at Isotopes Stadium, where Manny Ramirez will start his rehab assignment this evening here in Albuquerque. It’s a really nice facility…the last time I was here was in 1998 and Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes were the top prospects playing for the Dukes. They’ve got a new stadium and are expecting a sellout crowd tonight due to Manny’s arrival. Should be an interesting few days.

Meanwhile (and more importantly), the team is in Chicago for a three-game set against the White Sox. Clayton Kershaw will host a web chat at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT today on dodgers.com from the clubhouse at US Cellular Field, so be sure to login and catch up with him.

Also, for those of you who have a few minutes, you’ve heard us talk about the People All-Stars Among Us program…well, it ends tomorrow night so you only have a little bit of time to vote for one of the three people who will represent the Dodgers at the All-Star Game in St. Louis.

That’s about it for now…will try to post the lineup for the game in Chicago later in the day but it could be busy around here. MLB Network will be here providing live look-ins of all of Manny’s at-bats and there’s quite a bit of media that has made the trip to Albuquerque.

 

Air Traffic Control…

So the thread got a little long this weekend, as I was in Ohio for a wedding…at the airport now en route to Chicago, where I was set to meet up with the team. But with Manny’s assignment in Albuquerque expected to draw a lot of media attention, I’m headed there instead while the team takes on the White Sox.

Heck of a game last night from Kershaw and great to see us take two of three from the Angels. I can’t remember the last time that happened, let alone in Anaheim. If you want to ask Clayton about it, you can do so tomorrow during his live webchat at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT.

Is anyone on this blog from Albuquerque? Would love to see ITD represented among the Isotopes crowd this week! Should be an interesting one with lots going on in a couple different parts of the country. In case you haven’t found it yet, the ‘topes have a blog there called ‘Topes’Tattler and I’d imagine they’ll be updating it all week long.

 

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