There are plenty of legendary ballparks in Major League Baseball, ranging from Fenway Park to Wrigley Field. However, there is one field that sits out west that gets overlooked. Whether it's legends like Kirk Gibson hitting a home run on one good leg or Vin Scully's transcending voice, you can't help but love the charm Dodger Stadium exudes.
I'll confess I've never been to a National League ballpark until yesterday. I've never been in a place where the pitcher walked up to hit, which was new to me. Still, I got to experience that in Los Angeles, and it felt great. It also brought the Cali aesthetic to baseball, which was amazing.
Of course, you can't just go to Dodger Stadium without trying an authentic Dodger Dog (don't worry, I put condiments on my second one. I learned my lesson, peeps). It's like going to Las Vegas and not gambling, taking in a show, or dining at an incredible restaurant. It's sacrilegious to forgo such a treat.
The Dodger Dog was a decent dog, with the right amount of beef and juicy tenderness. Of course, I was a bit inebriated from the pre-game ride. Therefore, it tasted well to me in my given state. Still, I can't wait to give a Dodger Dog another shot, hopefully as a more sober being.
As for the game itself, Los Angeles was playing the New York Mets. There were plenty of Met fans in attendance, including four sections worth in the upper deck on the first base side. They were referred to as the "Seven Line," which were a group that traveled around, cheering for their beloved Metropolitans. Talk about some hardcore dedication.
The "Seven Line" spent the entire game annoying the home crowd, cheering whenever a Met came up to bat and chanting "PETE ALONSO" whenever the slugger stepped to the plate. They'd be swiftly met with a chorus of boos and a counter chant of "LET'S GO DODGERS", which lead to a beautiful back-and-forth. God bless Met fans and their commitment, even in the face of Fred Wilpon's earlier regime.
Anyways, the home crowd was blessed with three home runs: one from Trea Turner, one from Albert Pujols (this is the second time I've seen him in person, by the way), and one from Chris Taylor. Max Scherzer was on the mound and went five innings, allowing an earned run, five hits, and striking out eight. He got the win as Los Angeles held off the reeling Mets, 4-3.
I'll admit, it was a bit underwhelming not seeing stars like Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts, and Jacob DeGrom. New York and Los Angeles have battled injuries all season, especially with their superstar aces. However, I was satisfied with seeing the new star in Scherzer on the mound. His fastball and cutter were enough to entertain the crowd, even if Brandon Nimmo was a pain in his ass.
I can't tell you how memorable this experience was. First, Dodger fans are some of the coolest people you'll ever meet. Many were extremely nice and conversational, talking about their favorite players and experiences. I even got a couple of cannabis edibles from someone on the trip, making the ride home a breeze.
Also, the atmosphere was awe-inspiring, showing the best of the Golden State. The best part is that it's not smack-dab in the middle of Los Angeles. It's just a drive through a mini-forest, taking Vin Scully Avenue, and you're there. The cherry on top was what started as a cloudy day that turned into beautiful blue skies in Southern California. It's like Hollywood's best-kept secret resides near the hills!
There's nothing like California baseball, especially in the southern region. You have the beautiful backdrop of the mountains and the perfect weather, making it the ultimate experience. I can't wait to go back sometime in the future, creating more memories along the way. I'm just hoping they'll play the legendary Vin Scully saying, "and now it's time for Dodger baseball!"