In the morning when I was still contemplating whether or not I wanted to run or just head in to work, I got a FB message from my cousin Juan. He messaged several of our cousins to see if anyone was interested in taking a pair of tickets off his hands for the Dodgers home opener. I mentioned the idea to Sean and he was down. I sent off some emails to work/students and took care of some outstanding tasks. Our program director wished me a happy opening day even before mentioning the game. He knows I’m a big Dodger fan.
Since I was the first to jump at the offer, Juan gave me the tickets. We coordinated a meet-up between his place and mine in East LA around 11:30. Juan mentioned that we might make it in time to see the opening day ceremony beginning around 12:15. Although it was a little over 5 miles from East LA to Dodger Stadium, traffic was happy. Luckily, I know my way around the area (in car and on foot thanks to the LA Marathon!) and we found free parking off Sunset Boulevard and got to our seats in time for the ceremony.
Along with the standard team intros and national anthem, the opening ceremony also featured tributes to hall of fame broadcasters Vin Scully (who had to miss the game due to a cold, first time in 35 years) and Jaime Jarrín, Nancy Bea Hefley (Dodgers organist), the 1962 Dodgers (who played the inaugural season in the new stadium), and a first pitch by Terry O’Malley Seidler (daughter of former owner Walter O’Malley), The Beach Boys sang a sweet rendition of the national anthem.
I’ve been to one opening day game/home opener before. This time was better. It was warmer, we had seats in the shade, most of the game was a pitchers’ duel, Andre Ethier hit the go-ahead homerun and the Dodgers won. Even emo Juan Uribe had a good game going 3-for-3.
The only downside to the game was the annoying group of about 10 people sitting next to us. I get that people are going to drink at games. I’m prepared for that, but I get annoyed when they interrupt my game watching by making me get up 25 times to let them through. One time a guy almost fell on me. Not cool. One of our neighbors was so drunk that stadium security escorted her out. I assume that’s what happened from overhearing the rest of the people who came with her.
Nevertheless, I’m thankful Juan gave us the opportunity to check out our first game of the season. I’m lucky to have several cousins who are generous and love the Dodgers as much — quite possibly more — than I do.