Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Delino Day in DodgerTown

After 30-plus years and quite a few baseball games, today was my first home opener. (Unless my folks took me when I was a wee lad and kept it some dirty little secret) Inspired by my childlike wonder and excitement to be at the game...

... here is my take of today's home opener triumph.

The drive from Burbank to Manhattan Beach to Dodger Stadium was soooo long, I almost ran out of gas. Finally, I got off the highway... and to misquote a non-Splash Tom Hanks film "Oh god, sometimes the (last) Mile seems so long." So I screamed several bad words, parked my car near Orange County and walked and walked and walked to DodgerLand. Lucky for me, my car was being watched over.

I planned to meet my daddy-in-law at First Base Loge... and like the smarty pants I am, I went to the third base side. Then walked OVER the top deck and through the woods until I finally got inside. We made it to our seats TEN SECONDS before the first pitch, and what a pitch it was. Strike one.

Pretty soon, everyone hit the balls almost as far away as my car.

Manny. Mr Rihanna. Andre the Giant. And even a guy from my fantasy team. And we were all so happy.

The game was like one big party. With beach balls.

And kissy girls.

And Hulk-hands that you put cans of beers in or whatever the crap this is...

But there is something to discuss here. Something serious. Something that almost derailed the entire day, and brought me crashing back into adulthood. Gordon Biersch left. No more sausages. Sure, there's garlic fries still conveniently located everywhere (except where I was sitting), but it's just not the same as the greatest concession stand a city with no cuisine of its own could provide.

In its absence was a new stand. One I know a little too well. In theory, South Street Cheesesteak should make me as happy as a pig in some kind of bodily excretion. The one in Burbank IMPORTS its bread from my beloved Philadelphia, and even sells Tastykakes.

The one in Dodger Stadium proved to be a different experience. Stale pretzels (on the first day of the season... how is that possible.) Grey cheesesteaks. And waits that felt like two Kevin Costner movies. Avoid at all costs.

In the larger Dodger universe... the day was still a A- (docking half a grade for gridlock). And I even got to meet the esteemed "Josh S" and his wife. Look forward to non-digital interactions with other SoSG-maniacs in the future.

And did I mention my Father-in-Law hit someone in the face while swatting at a beach ball? Truly classic.

13 comments:

Neeebs said...

I use to LOVE TastyCakes.

A Delino said...

@Neeebs - you still can. They sell them in TWO places in Burbank. Two! One of the only reasons I moved up here.

M.Brown said...

Let me know and I can ship you cases of them. Eclairs and kandykakes FTW

Steve Dittmore said...

Tastykakes may be the only thing I miss about Pennsylvania. Got a family wedding there in July... Any orders?

Fred's Brim said...

even with that description (maybe because of it?), i think i'll be getting a cheesesteak for lunch today

Fred's Brim said...

I am also a big fan of Wishniak - can you get that out there? or do they just call it black cherry soda?

Steve Sax said...

Delino: did you grab them cakes?

Josh S. said...

It was great to chat with you, D-Line. I still think it's freaky that the magic of Ticketmaster put us in the same row.

Speaking of hitting people in the face, I got pegged in the noggin by a pistachio vendor's errant throw.

Dusty Baker said...

That's a rite of passge, Josh.*

*Getting hit by a nut or legume-throwing vendor, not sitting near The Delino, though I'm sure that has a deeper meaning, too.

Dusty Baker said...

*kicking myself for not making the cake-grabbing reference first*

I'm slippin'.

Dusty Baker said...

Holy spit; just noted the indefinite article preceding Delino's name in the lineup on the masthead of the blog. My bad.

A Delino said...

How tastykake never used grab them cakes as their theme is beyond me

Josh S. said...

"That's a rite of passage, Josh."

I'm lucky it wasn't a Victory Knot vendor, or I'd be dead.

And it can't be said enough: Those Hulk hands things are so stupid. I saw a guy with a Laker one walking around the concourse. I told myself, "At least the Dodgers don't have anything that lame." Then I walked into the team store and immediately facepalmed.

I wonder what they could do with all the leftover Thing feet.