Take me out to the ballgame…so I can see what everyone is eating.

We headed off to Dodger Stadium. Jay is quite a baseball fan. He loves his Dodgers, but in truth, he loves the game. He shares this passion with both our son and son-in-law, so I’m accustomed to baseball talk.

Last season the three guys made a late spring trip to Chicago to see the Dodgers play at Wrigley Field.  The year before our son grabbed his dad and off they went to Boston’s Fenway Park. They love historic ball parks and they love the game.

I’ll go along. Put me in an outdoor setting with a nice view of the mountains, and I’m set.

Dodger Stadium overlooks downtown Los Angeles, with the city to the south, hilly Elysian Park to the north and east, and a lovely view of the San Gabriel Mountains beyond the outfield pavilions.

Downtown Los Angeles

Los Angeles weekend traffic is only for the brave on a good day, but this weekend Dodger fans were treated to an almost unprecedented freeway snarl when a tanker truck caught fire, spewing flaming fuel along a major artery. This was a humdinger of an accident, closing freeways and main thoroughfares for hours, and delaying ticket holders well into the fifth inning. Crowds were sparse for a while.

Welcome to Dodger Stadium

It wouldn’t be useful to ask me too many details about the game. I’m just happy everyone is having a good time.

But I can tell you what I found interesting.

I enjoyed seeing ex-Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda signing autographs. By all visible accounts the team is doing its best to rehabilitate a not-so-wholesome reputation. New franchise–much better  shall we say people skills.

Tommy LaSorda

Children were encouraged to line up waiting for their cue to run on-field and grab an autograph.

There was a nice family feel that hasn’t been present for many years.

I was particularly impressed with a new regular feature, The Veteran of the Game, honoring a member from one of the five branches of Armed Services at each game, introducing them to an enthusiastic crowd and standing ovation.

Veteran of the Game

Once these festivities were over and the game was well underway, my attention wandered.

Pizza

“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…” OR, garlic fries and nachos?

Pizza? Cotton Candy? Jalapeño Kettle Corn?

After all that a person would be quite thirsty. Good thing they encouraged everyone to stay hydrated.

Drinking Water

However, I didn’t notice a lot of water.

A slow game, but the Dodgers racked up a win against the Colorado Rockies.

But that’s not all.

42

Coinciding with the DVD release of the major motion picture “42″–the biographical film written and directed by Brian Helgeland about the life of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, we were treated to an evening surprise.

The outfield pavilions were emptied for seating on the grass, and those of us in the stands spread out in  comfort for an evening showing of the movie.

This is so much more than a baseball movie. It’s history. Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel, was involved in the production and has praised the end result as “authentic” and “powerful” as it tells the story of Robinson as the first African-American player to break the baseball color barrier.

I also think Harrison Ford’s role as team executive Branch Rickey, the man responsible for signing Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, is an excellent and moving portrayal.

There is plenty of history connected to Dodger Stadium that I’ll simply have to share with you another time.

Sixty years hasn’t dulled the controversy connected to the purchase of the land in the early 1950′s with the use of eminent domain funding.

The city had two competing options. Elysian Park Heights public housing project with townhouses, playgrounds, schools and a college.

OR…Dodger Stadium.

We’ll get back to that.

One sentence in the Wikipedia entry caught my full attention.

“Proposed public housing projects like Elysian Park Heights lost most of their support as they became associated with socialist ideals.”

What were those socialist ideals?

Now I REALLY want to know. 1950′s McCarthyism?  I have some reading to do.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my day at the ball park. Did you get hungry?

Maybe I’ll watch the game next time. I’ll have to leave the camera at home.

53 thoughts on “Take me out to the ballgame…so I can see what everyone is eating.

  1. Maybe “socialism” is a less inflammatory way to say “communism.” That wouldn’t surprise me at all, for the backers of the stadium to link contemporary public fears to the less lucrative option.

  2. Oh forget the game and carry on doing what you did… who wants to here what happened in the ball game… the sports channels and writers can tell us that… your post was far more interesting and all that food just added to the hunger feeling I have right now… this was a magnificent post… bring us more….

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the baseball post, Rob.I really did enjoy the people watching. I will at some point return with some of the stories of the history of the general area. It’s quite interesting, as I understand it, but I have some gaps to fill in. :-)

  3. My congratulations on a wonderful post Debra! Your pictures of the ballpark interspersed with such interesting anecdotes and history plus all that food and drink was just brilliant. I honestly felt as though I was sitting next to you eating those nachos ‘n beer.

  4. I am not a baseball fan so when I used to join my co-workers in the company’s baseball games I did it for the friendship, the fresh air and the yummy snacks. Games can make memories that we look back at fondly. Your post captured the spirit of the game.

    • It’s true, Marie, the ballgame experience can create some very lovely memories for those who attend with friend and family. I enjoyed being outdoors! So maybe I’ll attend a little more often…I think it had probably been at least two years, maybe three. :-)

    • I really recommend “42″ for so many reasons, Colleen. I think we are all aware of the tremendous prejudice and racial injustice of the era, but I was still incredibly shocked. I don’t know what I imagined, but I think it was the hatred Robinson experienced that I couldn’t have pictured. The movie brought it out very clearly, and for that, it’s a valued history lesson! The DVD is released this week, so I hope you can see it soon! :-)

  5. Many thanks for sharing your trip to Dodger Stadium. As a baseball fan, and one who enjoys ballpark history, I like the historical addition you included at the end. Of course, I also realize you will research and go into greater detail later. Loved the movie “42″!!!!

    • There is a lot of history connected with Dodger Stadium, probably in part because of their migration from New York, and we didn’t have a major league team before then. That’s perhaps true of many teams, I just don’t know much. :-) “42″ is so excellent as both entertainment and a history lesson. I hope it does very well in DVD release so others can really be reminded of what baseball did to begin to break down some of the prejudice and horrible racial injustice that existed in the 40s an 50s. Not that it answered all problems, but it was pretty daring for the time. Robinson is quite a historical figure, isn’t he? I’m not surprised you saw it. And glad you did! :-)

  6. I don’t follow baseball, but think it’s great that others do. On occasion when I go see a Giants game in San Francisco, I am likewise more of a people watcher. Great entry, Debra!

  7. What fun, Debra – and a movie, to boot! While I’m not much of a baseball fan, I come from a long line of baseball lovers, half root-toot-tooting for the Cubs, the other half cheering for the White Sox. Lots of, shall I say animated, “discussions” went on in our backyard all summer long. At present, there is a bit of controversy here about Wrigley Field – an Chicago institution if there ever was one, but, I digress, for I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your view from the inside of Dodger Stadium. Thank you.

    • There are some team rivalries in our family, too, Penny. Half our “group” are Northern California and Giants fans! But what really amuses me is when everyone is together and I sit and listen to the conversations flying with detailed statistics and player discussions. I’m lost! I sometimes think it would be so funny if right in the middle of one of those animated group conversations I asked, “Has anyone read anything interesting lately?” No one seems to want to talk about what interests me. LOL! Sports rule…I learned that a long time ago. At least it’s not politics. That would bring out the flame throwers! Haha!

  8. Loved that you went to this Dodger game with the movie following. We absolutely loved the movie (my Dad saw it twice) and you were able to go to a Dodger game!!!!! Great post, Debra. Thanks for sharing the photos also. You know we bleed Dodger blue so this was a fun one to read. (Of course all of yours are good posts but this hit home)!!!
    Take care and love to you, Kathy

    • We did have such a nice afternoon and evening, Kathy. The movie was unexpected, so it made for a wonderful treat. That was our second time to see it, too. It’s really wonderful, isn’t it? I want to be sure my mom and dad get a chance to see it, so we’ll probably get the DVD. Looking forward to seeing you in September! :-)

  9. The last major league ball game I attended was at Fenway Park, and I spent much of the time agog at the food selection. I didn’t order anything, but I could not believe how things had morphed beyond hot dogs and peanuts.

    • I was limited to popcorn myself. We had other with us and the food bill was really ridiculous. But it was great fun to watch. Next time I’m going to bring something in from the outside that at last resembles a healthy option. I would have been ill had I eaten most of what I saw, but I will admit I’d have enjoyed those garlic fries! :-)

  10. Haha I love that your view of the game has transformed into a view of the food – I go to rugby and the food is brilliant :D

    Cheers
    CCU
    P.S Because of my exams, I will not be commenting for around 4 weeks – see you afterwards!

    • I’ll be thinking of you with your exams, CCU. You are so dedicated to maintaining a really wonderful blogging presence, I’m sure it’s hard to completely turn that facet of your life off for a while, but your exams are critical. We’ll be waiting for you. I promise. :-)

  11. I loved your title and perspective on the food in the park . . . I love to see what people are eating. And drinking. How FUN that you got to watch a movie too.

    • We had guests with us for the weekend, including a 13 year old, so the movie made for such a great way to extend the evening and we all enjoyed ourselves. I won’t admit how much money went into food. Good grief! We couldn’t do that too often. :-)

  12. You had me at the title — you and I watch baseball the same way. While everyone’s root, root, rooting for the home team, I’m people watching, eating, daydreaming. It’s only a matter of time before a ball hits me on the head because I’m not paying attention. :)

    • I don’t know about you, Kevin, but if the ball came at my head I don’t think paying attention would help! LOL! I’m hopeless in the sports department, but I absolutely love watching the crowd. I only wish I had the nerve to point the camera at everyone I see doing something odd or unusual. I’m afraid of starting a brawl sometime, since I probably already border on being intrusive. :-)

  13. We were at Dodgers Stadium before Mr. N was born…saw the Cubs play I believe. (Mike would remember.) I do remember eating there – a hot dog of course! But how absolutely cool that you got to see the movie after the game. That is so fun! We need to get to the ballpark again badly. It’s been far too long. We used to go ever summer, but the past two it just hasn’t worked out for us. Loved these pictures!

    • It was a really fun time watching the teams play, but really I mostly enjoyed observing families and seeing how much they were enjoying the game as well as being together. There were many young families, including babies dressed in Dodger gear. They looked so cute. For awhile Dodger Stadium wasn’t particularly family-friendly, but with new ownership there is obviously a very different shift towards improving the reputation. I’m so glad for that. I think I know why you haven’t been going to ball games, Kristy! Just look at your wonderful travel adventures. :-) Sometimes we just can’t do it all, but I’m like you about summer…we try! ox

  14. It looks like a good day out and that stadium is enormous. Shame about the accident on the way there! Do they have people come and serve food to you? Here you have to get up and go get it yourself xx

    • It is a large stadium, Charlie. I think one of the largest, but I am not sure on the stats. There are plenty of food venues you can access for yourself and bring back to the seats, but throughout the game vendors walk up and down aisles offering additional treats. I was surprised to see pizza as one of them. It can get quite expensive to eat at the ball game, but it’s one of the traditions, I think. I was going to wait until the movie to eat something and I waited too long and most of the venues were closed after the game. Next time I’ll have to try something from the Mexican food kiosk. That looked pretty good! :-)

  15. You’re preaching to the choir, Debra. It isn’t Summer until I get to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs. This year, I’m behind schedule, only having seen 2 games and it’s already the All Star break. There are 4 of us that go to the games, have been doing so for years, and it’s just a great way to spend an afternoon or evening.

    • The All Star game was on in our household last night, John. I didn’t watch much, but I like to follow along when the stories of the players are highlighted. And I enjoyed Neil Diamond. :-) There is something very special about the fan dynamics (when they behave) all pulling for their team, and I really enjoyed watching all the young families. These events can become wonderful memories for children. And when it comes to sports, my observation is that people never grow up. (notice I didn’t single out men!) :-) I hope you have the chance to see many more games before the end of the season. It’s good for the soul!

    • People watching is one of my favorite activities, Martin. If I had a stronger lens I could really capture some interesting moments, but I try not to be too obvious. I think I may already border on being rude when I zero in on what people are eating. LOL!

  16. I have never been to a ball game.. One day i will I promise, but maybe not today.. there just seem to be SO MANY PEOPLE.. they must like each other a lot to be able to be squished into that tiny space together without fighting.. have a lovely day.. c

    • I really love your response, Celi, because it addresses something I often consider. I think I’m so accustomed to “crowds” of people, I don’t even notice. And as much as I think I long for wide open space, I do look at your farm and drool a bit, would I acclimate? Would I find the solitude overwhelming and maybe feel anxious. I am not sure I’ll ever have the opportunity to find out. :-) I don’t think sporting events are ever going to be “my thing” but I do love to see how much fun others are having. You have a wonderful day, too. ox

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Kate. I had hoped American baseball wouldn’t be too exclusive…but history never is! I hope at some point you do see the movie “42″ for so many reasons. You’d enjoy it very much. It isn’t recommended for children under 13 because of the absolutely abominable racial slurs and epithets thrown at Robinson, but it is an accurate portrayal of some of America’s shameful history. It does show how the courage of some did make a big difference, however. Here I go….another movie review. I guess you can just tell how much I was affected by the movie. I’ll definitely get back to the history of the ballpark…there are more stories than I have time, but that’s true for us all, isn’t it! :-)

  17. Would you believe I only went to one baseball game and it was on a date…I thought it would never end. It was a night game that set a record for innings played at the time but all I could think about was going home. By the way, I’ve always liked the Dodgers.

  18. The only thing I know about baseball is that it resembles the game of rounders I played at school. Apart from that – zilch, so I really enjoyed this post and the feel you give us of going to the game. The film showing was a great bonus. :-)

  19. I have to agree nine long innings are a challenge to watch. I attend in the spirit of the game, but more importantly is the company, especially if we are in box seating sheltered from the elements. I can’t wait to hear more about the socialist ideals!

    • I will definitely return to the history of Elysian Park and the controversy connected to Dodger Stadium. I’m curious to learn more myself. Especially the part about the socialist ideals! You can count on me to share what I learn. :-)

  20. Brilliant Debra, you are like me listening to the cricket on the radio – haven’t a clue what is happening but I know all about the chat and what they are eating and drinking, etc etc!

    • That’s right, Claire. I don’t really enjoy sports to follow closely, but I think with the many tensions and “hot spots” in life it is so nice to see people, especially young children, enjoying themselves. The food at the ballgame really did entertain me. :-)

  21. It sounds like so much fun and the food choices are so different that what you might expect! Your reference to drinking water is really great – I suppose people aren’t thinking about dieting when they’re at a baseball game… :)

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