With apologies to Mr. Scully, in a year that been so difficult, an amazing thing has happened.
The last 24 hours are the ultimate reminder of why we love the Dodgers.
It started around 4 p.m. yesterday when we first touched base with Vin Scully about how he planned to let the masses know he was coming back for 2012. Of course, that’s not the sort of secret that stays quiet for very long and you always worry that it’s going to leak out on its own. But sure enough, it stayed quiet and he found a creative and classy way to tell the fans directly that he’ll be back for another season. Immediately, Los Angeles was buzzing…14 hours later, he’s still a trending topic on Twitter and our Facebook post got 4,500 likes, more than anything else all season long. What more can really be said about Vin?
Shortly after that first conversation with Vin, we had another special moment. A woman in our department came up with the idea of having Fernando Valenzuela call Team Mexico before the international championship game at the Little League World Series and it was a memorable moment for both them and him.
Then, of course, there was the game. Trailing 1-0 up until Vin made his announcement, the team turned it on and not only broke out for a big victory, but Matt Kemp reached 30/30 faster than any other player in franchise history — which means faster than Raul Mondesi, the only other guy that’s ever done it as a Dodger. The fans went crazy and it was obviously a moment that Matt — or the fans who were here — will never forget.
The night ended with Friday Night Fireworks on the field (set to the Beatles music in honor of tomorrow’s 45th anniversary of their show at Dodger Stadium). And then early this morning, we invited our season ticket holders who have had seats here for three decades or more to take part in a photo shoot for the cover of the September Dodgers Magazine. It’ll be a keepsake and hopefully a morning that they’ll remember for years to come, too.
Making it all even better, yesterday happened to be the day that the winning bidder for ThinkCure spent the day trailing me in my job, so a wonderfully sweet young Dodger fan got to experience it all first-hand and meet everyone from Vin Scully on the day he made the announcement, to Clayton Kershaw, Matt Kemp and so many others.
So sure, things aren’t quite where we all want them to be on and off the field. We’d all prefer that we be right in the thick of a pennant race right now. But we’ve got the game’s broadcaster, best young pitcher, best young position player and the best fans around. I’ll take that any day.
It’s a very busy day and weekend at Dodger Stadium…
The ThinkCure weekend is underway, with programming on Prime Ticket, KABC, KCAL, KLOS and in Stadium. For all the information, visit dodgers.com/thinkcure.
Then at 2 p.m. PT, @therealmattkemp will take your questions on Twitter. Follow him and @dodgers to see all that he has to say and he’ll answer questions that have the hashtag #AskKemp.
And of course, the Freeway Series starts at 7:10 p.m., with 1:10 games tomorrow and Sunday.
Hope you’ll make the Dodgers and ThinkCure part of your weekend plans.
One year ago today, we posted here about a young man named Christopher Ramirez who was the talk of Spring Training. When Make-a-Wish called us to tell us about a huge Dodger fan from San Francisco, it was expected that this 17-year-old might not make it to see Opening Day. Sadly, with so many of the Make-a-Wish kids we’re fortunate enough to encounter, that is the case.
Christopher came with his sister and his mother to visit Camelback Ranch. Under Ned Colletti’s orders, we treated him like a big leaguer for a day. He took infield/outfield with the team, he took batting practice and he sat in the dugout for a big league Spring game. His story was covered by many media outlets and those of us who spent any time with him took great joy and amazement in his positive outlook, given the circumstances.
Throughout last season, we received updates from him via email about how the inoperable brain tumor he had has been shrinking and we stayed cautiously optimistic. We even got to see him at a game up North in San Francisco. But when he arrived at camp yesterday, with his cancer fully in remission, it was easily the best news to come out of Camelback all year. It was the epitome of ThinkCure!
I’ve written it here before and it’s worth repeating…these are the best parts of this job. The incredible things that the Dodger organization can do for others are what makes this franchise unique. We’ve seen it time and time again – maybe not quite as clear as Christopher’s story – but I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say that we are humbled to work for such an incredible franchise.
In case you missed the original video and article from last year, check it out and please continue to keep Christopher and his family in your thoughts.
Today, the two winners of the ThinkCure auction who had the winning bids to go “Inside the Dodgers” will be here to spend the day following around yours truly to see what it’s like to work for the team. It’s always a fun day for me, as it’s a reminder of how fortunate we are to do what we do for a living.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in the Inside the Dodgers tour, it’s set for Sept. 4 at 12:00 p.m. and as we mentioned last month, it’ll be a special group rate of $10 per person or $5 for kids. You can also tickets for that night (you can pretty much get them wherever you’d like to sit…we aren’t requiring anyone to purchase in the same section).
If you’re interested in the group tour, please email Brett at email@example.com and he’ll take credit card info, etc. to get you set up. If you want to attend the game that night against the Giants, please contact Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323.224.1376.
Getting swept is never fun, so there’s not much that can be said after a weekend like that. Let’s just hope the team got it out this weekend and will turn it back on this week against the Reds and Red Sox…
On a more gracious note, thanks to everyone who contributed to ThinkCure Weekend…more than $300,000 was raised for cancer research and the online auction is still going through tomorrow.
Among the things that tend to happen on a daily basis if you purchase the Insider Clubhouse Tour are interactions with numerous current and/or future Hall of Famers, access in areas of the stadium where even the most fortunate fans never get to go and a chance to watch the game from the press box.
I believe last year, the person who purchased this item wound up meeting Vin Scully, Jaime Jarrin, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Torre, Ned Colletti, Fernando Valenzuela, Charley Steiner, Rick Monday and several players, among others. Trust me…we make it worth your while because it’s such a great cause so bid now before someone else gets this lifelong memory (have I talked it up enough).
Tomorrow’s an off day and likely no post, but we’ll be back to posting almost daily starting on Tuesday. Hang in there, Dodger fans. It’s been a tough weekend, but the Dodgers still have the third-best record in the NL and there are still several guys waiting to hit their strides.
Following up on today’s annual golf tournament to benefit the Dodgers Dream Foundation, tomorrow is the start of the ThinkCure Weekend. As you know, it’s all geared towards finding a cure for cancer and we certainly hope you will all find a way to donate in some way, if you have the means.
It starts at 6 a.m. on KABC 790, KLOS and KHJ (Spanish), and then at noon Prime Ticket there will be two straight days of amazing TV programming focused all on ThinkCure. They’ve really put a ton of effort into making this a memorable event to raise a lot of money for a great cause. KCAL will also be showing regular updates over the weekend, so find some time to tune in.
Even better, check out the really cool auction items. A chance to shag fly balls during BP, meet Vin Scully, have an Italian dinner with Tommy, take a batting lesson with Don Mattingly. There’s so much, it’s hard to list it all. In fact, there’s even a chance to follow around yours truly again and all I can say is that last year’s winner paid several thousand dollars and enjoyed it so much, he wound up doubling his donation just for the cause! But more on that later in the weekend…
And last but certainly not least, thank you all for the kind thoughts in the comments of the last post. We are truly blessed and appreciate all of your well wishes.
Oh yeah…and welcome to first place!!
It’s a holiday weekend and I’m guessing most people will be attending some sort of BBQ over the next few days. So have some fun this weekend and watch some Dodger baseball…
Tonight at 6:10 at COL on KCAL
Tomorrow at 5:10 at COL on KCAL
Sunday at 12:10 at COL on PRIME
And then back home for the longest homestand of the year. In fact, it’s probably been several years since we had a 13-game stretch at home, so it’s a chance to play well in front of the home crowd. By the time that stretch of games is over, the team will have played 62 with 100 left to go.
Lots going on at the stadium…Manny Ramirez’s BP jersey for kids, Kemp’s action figure, Loney and Blake’s poster (check out the behind-the scenes video from the hilarious shoot), Broxton’s bobblehead and then the ThinkCure Weekend. It’s going to be busy…
As you’ve probably heard by now, the ThinkCure radiotelewebethon is underway…
It started this morning on KABC 790 at 5 a.m. with Hiroki Kuroda matching the first $25,000 in donations and continues all the way through the postgame show.
PRIME TICKET has eight straight hours of programming starting at 11 a.m. and there is some amazing stuff that you can watch while you’re at the office or home today.
KCAL, which has been running touching stories all week, picks up at 6:30 for the pregame show and then throughout tonight’s game.
And for those who didn’t hear, this is an amazing way to donate and get something back. From 5-6 p.m. tonight at Dodger Stadium, you can pinch hit for Davey Lopes and take your picture with Garvey, Cey and Russell for a donation of $100 or more at the ThinkCure suite (221) on the club level. And, during the seventh and eighth innings, for a similar donation, you can take your picture with Fernando Valenzuela and the 1981 World Series trophy in the same location.
Now those are two photos you’ll save for a lifetime.
And of course, the online auction is going straight through the weekend and in the battle of the Joshs, we’re winning, $510 to $367 as of this minute.
So please, if it’s at all possible, find a way to take part this weekend and help find a cure for cancer. The dollar value isn’t important. It’s contributing something that matters. In fact, for those in the texting generation, if you text JOIN to 90999, you’ll make a $5 donation through your phone bill (standard messaging rates apply). Everyone can afford that, right?
Thanks to all of you for supporting ThinkCure and remember to tune in today and tomorrow to Prime Ticket, KCAL, KABC and KLOS.
Please be sure to read below for more information about ThinkCure and the radio telethon we’ve got going on throughout the weekend until the end of tonight’s game.
As I’ve mentioned, bidding for the online auction doesn’t end until Aug. 24 and Inside the Dodgers has been issued a challenge by DodgerTalk. Josh Suchon, one of the hosts of DodgerTalk, wants to see if the package that allows fans to go behind the scenes with them can go for more money than the one that allows you all to go behind the scenes with me.
So, for the next eight days, I’m going to give list a new perk that you would get for going behind-the-scenes with Inside the Dodgers. As of right now, there are eight bids and the winning bid is just $240. I promise you, if people knew what this package included, they’d be paying thousands of dollars for it and most importantly, every dime goes to the research that will find a cure for cancer.
So part one of the Inside the Dodgers experience is the chance to meet Joe Torre and watch his pregame chat with the media.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
UPDATE: Lineup below…
There’s no better way to go into a weekend series than with a four-game sweep…you’ve got to like the way the team is playing right now with six weeks left to go in the season.
As I’m sure you’ve heard or seen, the ThinkCure radio telethon started this morning and will run through tomorrow night’s game. There is tons of great programming on KABC 790, including a newly added three-hour DodgerTalk from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. today.
There are a number of ways that you can be involved, including:
Bidding online for some amazing auction items (more on this below)
Coming out to Dodger Stadium and making a donation at the turnstiles (tomorrow is Fireworks Night, too!)
As for the online auction, it doesn’t end until Aug. 24 and there are some amazing prizes, including a chance to visit the booth with Vin Scully before a game, take a trip to Spring Training in Glendale, Arizona, get a Manny Ramirez signed jersey and much, much more.
But get this…last night as I was driving home from the game, I heard Ken Levine and Josh Suchon on DodgerTalk issue a challenge to their listeners.
I had completely forgotten that I agreed to auction off an “Inside the Dodgers” package where a fan gets the chance to see what it’s like to do the job of a baseball PR person for the day.
At the end of the show, Josh Suchon told the DodgerTalk listeners that he wants bragging rights that the package sold to spend the day with DodgerTalk goes for more money than the one that allows someone to go Inside the Dodgers.
Well, that’s my challenge to all of you. ITD needs those bragging rights and I promise that the experience we give the winner of the Inside the Dodgers package will be one that you will never forget for the rest of your life. Trust me on this one. Jump in there and help raise money for an amazing cause.