Thursday, May 26, 2011

At-Game Recap: Protecting The Kershaw Bobblehead (May 17 vs. Brewers)

It takes a strong man to stomach two consecutive Dodger games with this 2011 Dodger squad. But since ol' Sax here (and SoSG Alex Cora, I might add) have intestinal linings hardened from years of Dodger Dog consumption, we were up to the task, even after watching the Dodgers' pathetic 2-1 loss to the same Brewers team the prior evening.

To be fair, though, there were two huge incentives: (1) an opportunity to pick up the first bobblehead of the 2011 season, the Clayton Kershaw bobblehead, and (2) a sweet scorage of tickets with Stadium Club access, which proved to be a godsend for an elitist pig like Sax. But more on that later.

The crowd for this rare 3-0 Dodgers victory (only their third shutout this year) was an underwhelming 42K seats sold--75% of capacity on the bobblehead giveaway night of your best player--so it wasn't exactly an electric atmosphere. But down on the field level, it was still pretty hyped up and crowded, especially in the first inning when Matt Kemp launched a 379-foot HR to right field to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. People were whooping it up with excitement.

I for one was just getting into my seat with the Dodger Dog and beer in hand, and as I waited for my part of four to slide in, I actually crouched down as to not block the view of the guy on the aisle behind us. "Don't worry, dude, it's cool," he said to me. "Nah, I don't want you to miss anything." WHACK. He was cracking up, I was cracking up, and the next thing we knew we were high-fiving each other in euphoria. It was a great way to start the game.

The view from my seats.

And then, the rain started a bit. It never got more than a light drizzle, not annoying by any means on an otherwise warm Los Angeles evening. But with a coveted bobblehead to protect, the patience for sitting in the rain became very different.

I remember sitting on the field level for Eric Gagne Bobblehead night in the pouring rain, May 4, 2003. At this game, I went with my mother, my wife, and my sister, and the latter two were aghast at how I refused to leave the game early AND how I made them huddle up with the bobbleheads under their jackets to keep their Gagne bobbleheads protected. (The article says that attendance for that game was 53.8K, almost 12K more than the Kershaw bobblehead game--and the Gagne bobblehead game was in the POURING rain.) Dodger Stadium has only had 20 or so rainouts, so I knew that there was no way this game was going to be called. But protecting the bobblehead had to be the priority.

Before I left, I took some more shots of DiamondVision:

All the Dodgers players are standing with arms crossed and a menacing look this year. What's with the grumpiness?

A better shot of the new Universal Studios logo above DiamondVision.

And then, just as I was coming up the aisle to seek shelter, there was SoSG regular Josh S.! I hadn't seen Josh since SoSG Fest 2010, and MAN! he was looking svelte. Here's a shot:

On top of that, right as I got to the spine of the Stadium to take the elevator up to the Stadium Club, I popped in on SoSG Dusty Baker, who was styling in a sweet behind-the-plate field level seat that he had scored for $22. Wow. Dusty was decked out as well:

And then, the Stadium Club. This isn't the all-you-can-eat Dugout Club behind home plate, nor is it one of the Baseline Clubs down the foul lines. This is the club up on the club level in right field, just past the final suite. It has a nice long bar, a bunch of buffet stations, and tables with big screen televisions that play the game and other sporting events (in this case, the Dallas-Thunder NBA playoff game was on the other feed).

I'd been here before but on a night like this with intermittent drizzles, it was a good idea to just hang out and chill inside. Here's some shots of the view from inside:

I also found it cool that on the wall by the hostess stand, there are replicas of all of the Dodgers' Sports Illustrated covers, decked out in a cool grid. I must have spent 10 minutes looking at each one in order and reminiscing with the ones I recalled.

The most recent SI cover prior to Manny Ramirez? Kevin Brown. Ugh.

Some of the more recent ones, including the Bulldog himself as Sportsman of the Year.

And I had to take a picture of this classic cover with our father. After all, not a day goes by that I don't ask myself, "Is Sons Of Steve Garvey Really Too Good To Be True?"

Sax gets his ledger back in the win column, AND bags a sweeeeeeeet Minotaur bobblehead to boot. It was a good evening.


QuadSevens said...

Nice recap! The Stadium Club really is awesome. I got the chance to spend two games up there a few years ago when Chase Bank cancelled their Dodger Rewards credit card program. Haven't been back since, but now I really want to get in there again!

Josh S. said...

"Svelte"...LOL, thanks. (Though, this is the first pic of me I've seen since I lost weight. I do notice a difference.)

The usher in Sax's section was hardcore. If anyone entered the section with any kind of trepidation, he was all over them like Broxton on cheeseburgers. I took a half-step down to try to see where Sax was sitting and the guy made a beeline for me. I quickly stepped back out before he could get to me and he immediately retreated.

On the other hand, I was able to sit with and talk with Dusty for 20 minutes in seats that were not ours (and that were far better than mine) and no one said a word to us.

Kyle Baker said...

That's because I had cast a defensive spell around the area.

karina said...

@Dusty good ol' Expelliarmus? or something like Protego Totalum?

Well seriously, you guys look great!

Kyle Baker said...


Protego Totalum. I didn't want to expel any bats from the Dodgers offense accidentally.