As Mrs. Orel and I raced along the I-10 to make it to Dodger Stadium in time to catch pre-game festivities on Orel Hershiser Bobblehead Night, I read Josh Suchon's excellent piece on his connection with Hershiser (hat tip: @dodgerfan_net). We parked and hustled toward the Reserve Level, passing more than a few people leaving the grounds clutching their Orel bobbleheads. One guy was even toting a whole case of them, no doubt rushing to fulfill his eBay pre-orders. A+++ WOULD BUY AGAIN
A couple things struck us as we watched Hershiser become the center of attention. He was inclusive, insisting Tommy Lasorda accompany him to the mound for the ceremonial first pitch. He was gracious, greeting first-pitch catcher Clayton Kershaw with warmth and making sure Kershaw was in the center of the trio for post-pitch pictures. He was humble, carrying the microphone stand off the field after announcing "It's time for Dodger Baseball!" And he was classy, making his way over to the visitors' dugout to shake Justin Upton's hand before leaving the field.
(Extra kudos to Nancy Bea Hefley for reviving her rendition of "Master of the House" to accompany Orel's return to the spotlight. The sentiment couldn't have been more perfect.)
So yeah, I picked a fine pitcher and a pretty good guy to borrow a name from. The game was a wash, but I met SoSG Nomo for a beer and a stroll along the Reserve concourse as we conducted an unsuccessful reconnaissance mission to locate Dusty. It was oddly peaceful for two Dodger geeks to walk and talk away from the game, discerning what was happening on the field only by the sounds of the crowd.
To the pics!
photos by SoSG Orel