My Goodbye to Dodger Stadium

[Box Score]

[Los Angeles Times] [ Game Highlights]

I thought I had seen Dodger Stadium for the final time the day I saw Kershaw beat Strasburg 2-1. But I just couldn’t let that be my goodbye. I couldn’t sit in my hotel room Friday night; waiting for my Saturday morning flight knowing the Dodgers were playing and that I wasn’t there. So I bought a ticket as my wife and I walked around the Santa Monica boardwalk Friday afternoon. Special thanks to you Stephanie for letting me go to my third game of the week at Chavez Ravine.

Here’s my ticket, I sat in a really good spot. About third row on the Dodgers dugout.

I fought the traffic all the way to the park and it took me about an hour and 45 minutes to get there despite being 15 miles from the stadium. It didn’t bother me. If you’re going to experience Los Angeles, experience it.

A game at Dodger Stadium; weather-wise, gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “it’s a perfect night for baseball”. It was a picture perfect night for baseball, as you can see here.

It was LGBT night at Dodger Stadium. I am not a firm believer of mixing this kind of stuff and baseball; or sports. But, it is Los Angeles. And no one gonna Pride harder than L.A. you know.

The Dodgers did this to their twitter account before the game.

I got to see one of my favorite pitchers throw against the Reds, Rich Hill. No blister problems to speak of on this night. Hill went five innings and got the win. He struggled with control some but also got squeezed a bit by the homeplate umpire Rob Drake.

This is one of those shots that is just pure beauty. #BaseballInLA.

If there’s a more beautiful sight to be seen at a Major League park, please show me it. There isn’t.

Corey Seager in the top of the first, getting ready to blow a bubble. The Blue Heaven wall behind him.

Justin Turner was back from injury. He was walking around with a noticeable limp, too. But it was neat to see him out there and he got things going in this one not long after this.

Billy Hamilton leads off the game for the Reds.

Hill struck out Billy Hamilton to begin the game.

Here’s Corey Seager’s competition for the starting Shortstop in Miami at the All-Star Game; Zach Cozart.

It’s not a Dodgers game in LA unless Dennis Gilbert is munching his damn Cracker Jacks behind home plate. Gotcha, Dennis.

Joey Votto homered in the ninth inning of this game. This is prior to digging in for his first at-bat.

The Dodgers put the shift on Joey Votto.

Here’s proof the Dodgers are shifting on Votto, with Turner standing to the right side of second base.

It’s kind of neat to know I’m watching a probable Hall of Famer in Joey Votto. Still love having him as a Red albeit with a different core surrounding him.

Joey Votto grounds into the shift not long after this was taken.

I couldn’t wait to watch Amir Garrett pitch. He’s one of the few young Reds I’m excited about. The Dodgers don’t hit lefties very well, so I expected them to have a rough night.

However, on this night; Garrett’s outing would be short-lived.

Here’s the beginning of your gratuitous Corey Seager shots.

Seager was using the JJ2 Marucci model bat he’s been lacing the ball with lately. The battle weapon makes all the difference sometimes.

Seager with the batting donut on, preparing to face Amir Garrett.

Close up of Seager getting loose.

A beautiful shot of a beautiful ballplayer.

Justin Turner in the hole, top step of the dugout

Turner was about to become the star of the game moments after this.

Seager digging in to face Amir Garrett.

Seager would line a ball to left field (man does he use left field a lot or what?) that looked like it was going to get out of the park. It missed by about five feet from what I could tell.

After this shot, Justin Turner hits a two-run home run to left field; a towering fly home run that put the Dodgers up 2-0.

The exchange at home plate with Chris Taylor.

Here’s a look at the Mercedes Benz scoreboard for the evening. And man did I see a ton of Mercedes driving around Los Angeles this past week. And Teslas, and BMW. And Range Rovers.

Jose Peraza had a really nice three-hit ballgame. My fantasy team says thank you.

Here’s my dad’s favorite Dodger, Woody Bellinger.

Tommy Lasorda in the HOUSE! Notice the television placed by his seat so he can watch the action. He looked pretty out of it all evening and left before the 7th or 8th inning without me noticing. It appeared he was with his grandkids.

I FINALLY got my grilled Dodger Dogs. Dodger Dogs numbers five and six of the week were grilled, and excellent.

A close up shot of legend Tommy Lasorda.

Amir Garrett took a shot off the hand. I was looking away when this happened, so this looked a lot worse until I saw the replay.

Garrett being attended to by trainers. This reminded me of the day in Cincinnati when Billy Hamilton got knocked out by a ball in center that landed him on the disabled list.

Garrett was able to get up, throw a few warm-up pitches; but ultimately was removed from the game by his manager.

Corey Seager getting ready for AB number two on the night. No hits in this game, but he did walk twice and score twice.

Seager’s second at-bat came against some guy named Jake Buchanan.

I’ll say it again; Chris Taylor is a nice little player.

Seager with his pre-AB ritual, lining the box.

And I did vote for Seager on my phone during the game for the All-Star vote. Quick note: the cell phone reception at Dodger Stadium is so much better than any other stadium I’ve been to.

The top of the ballpark was glowing on this perfect evening. I continually looked up to the sky at what a perfect night it was; in what might have been my last time ever at Dodger Stadium.

The intensity of Joey Votto, even down big; late.

Kenta Maeda had a very effective relief appearance and appeared back on track. he was 90-91 MPH a lot of the night. He went four innings, struck out six, walked one, and allowed just one earned run (Votto’s home run) on three hits.

Just a great shot of vintage Kenta Maeda.

Maeda getting ready for that herky-jerky windup of his.

Yasiel Puig digging in late to pinch hit. The crowd still gets loud for Puig. Any time. All the time.

Good shot of Puig in the box here for the last photo on the roll.

And again, the Dodgers weren’t going to leave me without seeing this one more time. It’s beautiful, no matter how many times you experience it.

There’s the big city from the edge of Dodger Stadium’s parking lot; in all it’s beauty. It’s so huge, seemingly it goes on forever. I took a minute – well actually, I looked for my car for 45 minutes – but I took a minute to go over and take this photo of the city with all the lights; stretching on forever into the night.

You never know how long life goes on. So you never want to take for granted a chance to look at something like this and document it. ‘Wow’ is all I can say. Goodbye Los Angeles, until next time. If a next time is meant to be.