This is a little embarrassing, but I suppose now, almost two weeks later, I should be posting my pictures and thoughts from Opening Day 2010, which happened (for the Dodgers) on April 13, 2010. Given the early games at Nationals Park this weekend, I thought I would post them up today for your comments and thoughts.
2010 marked at least the seventh home opener in a row that I was fortunate enough to attend. And given last year's event was marked by Orlando Hudson hitting for the cycle and a crowd-pleasing stunt to have the Dodger players come down through the field-level aisles onto the field (a logistic and security nightmare, I imagine, but a wonderful device to fire up the crowd and underline that the Dodgers are the Los Angeles fans' team), I figured this year's home opener would find it tough to match that majesty.
Indeed, it didn't even come close. But it was still a fun time!
First off, even before I got into the stadium, Victoria's Secret-clad women heralded my arrival:
And as I entered through the loge level entrance (third-base side), Miller Lite promotion women accosted me to ask me layup-type questions in order to win mini-Dodger foam fingers. Within one minute of entering the gates, I was indeed a winner. We were off to a good start.
This year's Opening Day Dodgers t-shirt evoked some Frank Lloyd Wright-era fonts and design (a huge improvement over prior years' logo-slapping work):
And then, I headed down toward the center spine bank of escalators in order to head down to my field-level seats. Along the way, the unrenovated loge level concourse seemed a bit brighter than normal, thanks to new column-wraps of Dodgers past and present. First, the Tornado, Hideo Nomo (who was relegated to a column behind a condiment stand, a place unfitting for the 1995 NL Rookie of the Year):
The Dodgers' greatest closer, Eric Gagne:
Fast forward to Dodgers present: the Bison, Matt Kemp.
Okay, this walk was getting tiresome! I need rations for this arduous journey! But wait, when did beer hit $12.25 for a cup? That's highway robbery!
The beer cart vendor tried to tell me that it was $12.25 last year for a cup of beer, but honestly I couldn't remember that extra $0.25. Suddenly, the Dodger players on the column wraps looked slightly disproportionate (like the width between eyes on Jamey Carroll):
And this is where we put King James, behind a water pipe? What an insult!
(Actually, as I walked around some more, I realized that players received more than one column wrap, so hopefully Loney's other placement(s) weren't partially obscured.)
Speaking of rations, as I made it down to Field Level, I came across the ridiculously grotesque Victory Knot pretzel. I kid you not, the vendor had trouble telling me it sold for $18 without bursting into laughter--and when she said that it came with dipping sauces, I couldn't help but ask if the sauces were all liquid gold):
I passed on the VK, and went to go check out the Diamondbacks, in batting practice:
And then the view from my seats toward home plate:
The view of the right-field scoreboard, from my seats:
And finally, a shot of the outfield from my seats. Is it just me, or are there more outfield wall advertisements than ever before?
By this point, I had finished my $12.25 beer, the weather was hot, and I was ready for my first Dodger Dog (and second Dodger beer) of the 2010 season:
Now, with Dodger Dog in stomach, this becomes a real game. More pictures soon!