Game 5: Padres 5 – Dodgers 2

The matchup: Dodgers vs Padres (4.30.16)
Special Guest: This was a solo mission. Couldn’t stay for much of the game and had promised a Justin Turner Chia Pet to a buddy.
Snacks: Greek Salad from the healthy cart and a water. (Made the mistake of stepping on the scale before heading to the game.)
Giveaway: See above.
Memorable Moment: Clayton Kershaw threw me a ball during batting practice. (And I didn’t drop it!)

Justin Turner Chia Pet Ticket

Made some sweet custom modifications to our tickets in honor of Justin Turner Chia Pet Night.

RECAP: Thanks to a prior obligation, I was spared the anguish of having to watch the Dodgers extend their losing streak to six and drop their second in a row to the lowly Padres of San Diego. When I left, neither team had scored and the Dodgers still had hope. We won’t rehash what happened in the following innings.

Howie Kendrick Batting Practice

Howie Kendrick settles in to the batter’s box.

To help off-set the fact that I was a horrible Dodger fan who bounced at the top of the third, I did attend early batting practice to catch the festivities. I get out for it a few times a season and prefer to stick to the sidelines. Better to let the established ballhawks do their thing and not take any chances away from kids. The only time I ever make a play on a ball is if it’s coming right at me. My glove is purely for self-defense and you should definitely bring one if you go to BP. Balls can come in hot.

Even with this “strategy,” I’ve managed to snag several over the years and have had to invoke my self-imposed one ball limit more than a few times. Yesterday’s came from Clayton Kershaw(!) while he was shagging balls out in centerfield.


Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw battles a bat boy (I believe it’s Sergio) for a ball during batting practice.

While Clayton was deciding where to throw it, I gave him a nonchalant wave that was borderline ironic amid all the screaming and waving that happens every time he touches a ball. Next thing I knew, it was coming right at me.

It’s amazing how time can freeze while a ball is in flight. As it made its way towards me, I got the chance to relive every horrific botched pop up from the days of Little League as my brain and motor skills rapidly began shutting down. Luckily, the solid thud of the ball landing in the pocket of my glove snapped me out of my two second flashback and the first thing my rebooted brain reminded me to do was to use my manners.

“Thanks, Clayton!” I yelled out.

Meanwhile, Clayton was probably like, “Great, now maybe that that stalker from the other night will leave me alone.”


Thanks for the ball, Clayton.


Close up of the ball.


Bonus shot of an empty Top Deck.

Not long after the Padres took the field for their portion of BP, I exited the stadium and moseyed up to our level so I could score a second Chia Pet and wolf down a shame salad before anyone was there to see it.

From The Seats

None of these fans were any the wiser that I was the only person to eat a salad at a baseball game.

For a brief moment during the second inning, a rainbow could be seen arcing across the stadium behind right field. It was nearly in the exact same spot as the rainbow that appeared during Vin Scully’s first bobblehead night back in 2012.


Right field rainbow.

Was it a sign from the baseball gods that things will be turning around for the Dodgers?

Let’s hope so.

Game 1: Dodgers 3 – Diamondbacks 1

The matchup: Dodgers vs Diamondbacks (4.13.16)
Special Guest: My wife.
Snacks: Dodger Dog w/ spicy mustard and onions (the only way to dress one), garlic fries, Heineken, churro.
Giveaway: Hooded Sweatshirt
Memorable Moment: Kobe Bryant getting the biggest cheers of the night.

Dodger Stadium Sign

Dodger Stadium’s new address.

RECAP:  Rolling up Vin Scully Avenue for the very first time, I took a moment to bask in the glory of Dodger Stadium’s new address and pay tribute to the East Side Kings. The East Side Kings were the closest thing my Nebraska high school had to a “real” gang. It was tradition for those dozen or so dudes to skip the first day of school and roll hard on day two, all decked out in the finest LA Kings gear that could be found at the Conestoga Mall.

For my wife and myself, the day after Opening Day has become our traditional first day back at the ballpark. I couldn’t help but feel a little East Side King-ish when we got to our seats and our neighbors said they were wondering if we’d be back. I thought for sure they’d know how we do it by now. This is our third season in the same spot and all the regulars in our section know each other which has given our section a real Cheers like vibe.

This game also marked our 11th season together. One of our very first dates was a Dodger game and lucky for me, I was only kidding when I tried talking her into stealing a tub of spicy mustard. As someone who only knew the world of Field Level corporate seats, our first game together was a whole new experience for her, starting with buying some strongly haggled tickets off a scalper in the parking lot behind the Left Field Pavillon. Oh the fun you could have in the days before StubHub.


11 seasons together and still trying to get on that Kiss Cam.

As for this game, the snakes struck first but Adrian Gonzalez got things tied up with a solo bomb to right center field. The Dodgers then pulled away in the fifth thanks to a couple of errors by the Diamondbacks that led to a pair of runs. Kenley Jansen sparred fans the horror of seeing the bullpen in action by coming on for a five out save that required only 18 pitches.

It was a great start to a new season at Chavez Ravine.