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