No. 23: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles

In the City of Angels there is a ballpark dubbed Blue Heaven.

Dodger Stadium does sit high on a hill and the parking lot affords excellent views of downtown Los Angeles, especially when the skyline is all lit up at night. Ron and Patti saw a night game between the Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers in the iconic venue on a beautiful evening in early August.

We also saw our second walkoff of the season as the Dodgers won with Yasmani Grandal’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning.

ACCESSIBILITY:

Patti says:   (1.5 RVs)

Driving in L.A. is just painful. There is no way around it. Depending on where you are staying, you might be able to take advantage of the Dodger Stadium Express. Visit the Dodgers’ MLB page for further information about the two routes and other transportation options. General parking is $15 in advance and $25 at the gate.

Ron says

This was one of the more difficult stadiums to reach. There is no train or lightrail to the stadium and it doesn’t have the geographic excuses of Seattle or San Francisco because of their waterfront locations.

It’s basically one way in and one way out, which creates a massive traffic jam along the Los Angeles freeways. Even if you take the Dodger Express, which is a bus, you’ll still be sitting in traffic for quite some time.

ATMOSPHERE:

Patti says

The sun sets behind the scoreboard as Puig is interviewed by a young Dodger fan

Dodger fans are very enthusiastic. The stadium was full on a Wednesday night and as fans witnessed a close victory over the Brewers that went into extra innings, their ardor did not wane.

The faded blue decor gives away the age of this ballpark, which opened in 1962. We entered from the top of the stadium and had to walk down a narrow stairwell for what seemed like an eternity to reach the field level.

Despite the age and some inconveniences, this is a great place to see a baseball game. It appears that all seats have a good view of the field and there are some places in the outfield from which you can see the game as well. I was excited to see Yasiel Puig, who is clearly a fan favorite.

Ron says

Though antiquated, Dodger Stadium is fun.

I was the only person in our section wearing a Brewers shirt and I definitely heard it from Dodgers fans. None of the razzing was mean-spirited. Even when I said Lorenzo Cain was going to hit a home run in the ninth inning to complete a cycle, the Dodgers fans just laughed.

When Cain flew out to the warning track, I knew I was going to hear it. But again, it was all in good fun, and my response was, “That just means we’re going to extra innings.” The game did go to extra innings, but then Grandal smashed his second homer of the game to the Brewers bullpen and the Dodger faithful were happy as I left disappointed.

FOOD: 

Patti and Ron both say:

Even a Brewers fan can’t resist a dollar Dodger dog

While there are multiple options, we had to take advantage of Dollar Dodger Dog night. We each got a couple of the famed Dodger Dogs, which were good —  as much as hot dogs can be.

Patti sprung for the Michelada $6 upgrade to her drink, which involves clamato juice, lime, and a seasoned rim on the plastic cup.

We didn’t get much else to eat at Dodger Stadium because it is rather costly, which made Dollar Dog night even better.

VALUE: 

Patti and Ron both say: 

Tickets to a Dodgers game are relatively inexpensive. The Dodgers know they’ll get sellouts even on a Wednesday evening. It’s everything else that carries a hefty price tag.

As stated above, food is not cheap — again, thankful for Dollar Dog night — and neither are the beverages. Street parking is available, but only if you want to hike a mile uphill to get to the stadium in what is not a great neighborhood. The Dodgers lot will cost $15 in advance, but $25 the day of a game for general parking.

MISCELLANEOUS / EXTRAS: 

Giant bobblehead pays homage to the famed manager.

There is no specific kids zone at Dodger Stadium, but walk around and you will find a few interesting homages, including a Tommy Lasorda bobblehead standing outside the Trattoria that also bears his name.

You can also pose with a large replica World Series ring or giant happy-looking Dodger Dog.

Those aren’t the only famous characters you might see. Tim McGraw was sitting behind home plate on the night we went. If you have watched a Dodgers game on TV or seen recent posts about Jon Hamm and Justin Bateman, you probably know that celebrities are regularly sighted attending Dodgers games in Tinseltown.

The entrance to Dodger Stadium also includes several large baseballs signed by each of the franchise’s Cy Young Award winners. Current Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is among those to earn a Cy Young award.

THE CITY OF LOS ANGELES: 

Movie buffs can find a lot to see and do in Los Angeles. We had to see a movie at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and find their favorite stars’ handprints and footprints in the concrete outside.

Outside the famed Chines Theatre in Hollywood

It was fun to see how the cast of Harry Potter included impressions of their wands and a plaque noting how Marilyn Monroe had visited and tried to fit her feet into the imprints from other stars before she became famous. Of course, there are also the many stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Speaking of this city of stars, plan ahead to go up to the Griffith Observatory at night. We were aghast to find so many people there when Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone had it all to themselves in “La La Land.”

Plan to sit in traffic unless you go during a less busy season. You might also bring your tennis shoes and a picnic basket and hike up the hill. There is much to see and do inside the observatory with large displays of planets, a seismograph, and telescopes. Outside, you can view the Hollywood sign, but only during the day. The sign is not illuminated at night.

Sticking with the theme, we also got tickets to see a live taping of a CBS Sitcom. “Happy Together” is a new show starring Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West that will premiere October 1.

The experience is free but there are a limited number of seats. The 23-minute episode took over four hours to shoot in front of the live audience. Comedian Ron Pearson kept us entertained between takes by engaging audience members, making jokes, and juggling. Listen for us on the laugh track during the episode, “How Jake Met Claire.”

Of course, when in California one must visit the beach. Holmes was able to accompany us to the Huntington Dog Beach and, although he does not care for the waves, he thoroughly enjoyed the people watching and doggie encounters.

There is definitely much to see and do around L.A., but it might take you a while to get there.

Home Run On Wheels, Home Run On Wheels

Follow Ron and Patti as they travel in their RV to all 30 MLB stadiums in 2018. Along the way, they will write stadium reviews, talk about food, baseball and life in an RV, and how you can help a child in need.
There will also be features with MLB players and other sports figures along the way.

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