So I say to my wife, “Honey, how about you and me spend some quality time together?” She says, “Sure, what are you thinking?” I say, “How about we start the day at the park, then grab some dinner, and end the day with a movie?” She jumps at the idea and says “Great, I’ll get my purse and let's go!” Of course, the devil is in the details.
Turns out I had 10 hours of great Dodger activities planned for Saturday. My wife was, of course, a great sport – I’m so glad she loves the Dodgers and was more than happy to join me. The first leg of the journey started out at Dodger Stadium for photo day (the park), then to watch the game and eat (the dinner), and finally to see the premiere screening of BLUETOPIA (the movie).
First off was the Dodgers Photo Day. WOW! Even though I have been a life long Dodger fan, I had never been on the field before. The grass is so nice: soft green and perfectly manicured. The Dodgers set up the outfield in a “M” shape with plastic fences. The fans stand around the fences and the Dodgers come out of the dugout and circle the inner portion of the fences.
We got there pretty early and Kershaw was throwing a side session on the warning track. It was great to hear the smack of the glove out there. Seemed like everyone passed by: Kuo, Kuroda, Wolf, Kershaw, Ausmus, Ohman, Stults, Trancoso, Castro, DeWitt, McDonald, Pierre, Hudson, Loretta, Ethier, Torre, Loney, Martin, and Kemp. Oh, and then there was that other Dodger in dreadlocks that every single Dodger fan kept running to – Manny something. Boy, wherever Manny was, people were crowded around, snapping pictures, yelling, screaming. It was a madhouse. And I must admit that people can be very rude to players. Of course a player is not going to come over to you if you are screaming like a wild person (lady in pink, you know who you are). It just scares them away. And of course, right after I was lucky to get a picture with Manny, he sprinted to the other side of the field. Man, were people disappointed.
Most of the players were really cool about taking pictures. Players that REALLY get a hat tip are Martin, Kemp and Pierre who each took time with everyone and really seemed to care about the people that they was meeting. Martin didn’t get out of our section because he was taking so much time with everyone. I felt bad for the fans on the other side, but you can’t fault a guy for caring. Also, Kemp seemed to enjoy himself and even said to us after we took his picture – “Man, I think you got my boogers, your camera was so close!” – really funny. After Pierre’s pictures, he would say “BAM, there it is!” and move the next person while trying to accommodate everyone. He might not play, but he seems like a pretty nice guy (and I think he smiled for our picture too). Hudson just ran by and high fived everyone (I think he felt late to get warmed up for the game). My “Dodger Blues” award goes to Andre Ethier who would only stand so you took a picture of him and he wouldn’t take a picture with any of the fans in our section. A little disappointing as I know there are a lot of people that like him. Torre came out toward the end and also wouldn’t take a picture with the fans as well, but I think he was pressed for time.
After it was all over, I took a couple of pictures laying down on the grass and by the Dodgertown sign in the outfield wall. On the way out, I picked up a autograph by Matt Luke (remember him, because I don’t) and circled back to our seats. It was nice having my wife there who also takes great pictures with her camera – my own personal photographer. I recommend anyone who wants to do this next time to do the same: bring someone that just shoots the pictures and isn’t too invested in getting one themselves, as the players come by pretty quickly and you don’t have a lot of time to snap the picture. Before you know it, they are gone – just like my time on the field. Below are some pictures from the day. Enjoy!
photos by Alex Cora/SOSG