Tagged: OFF THE FIELD… (vs Dodgers, 7.21-23.06) photo gallery

The Red Shirts Are Coming

Cardinals fans watch the pitchers practice during the pre-game warms before Game One of the Dodger series in LA. 7.21.06

You can always count on Cardinals fans to arrive early and stay late. We can never get enough baseball. (By the way, did you ready my entry about not being able to get to this side of the field until a half hour after we were let into the stadium? Such baloney!)

(I just love that the littest brother is wearing the Eckstein jersey. Do you think that might have been on purpose? haha)

Empty Nest

This photo was taken halfway through the Sunday afternoon game at Dodger Stadium. 7.23.06

And this is after the late-comers had arrived and before both the “7th inning Trickle” and the “8th inning Exodus.” Paltry! Weak!

I just don’t get it.

But I might be in the minority, here. You see, I suspect some folks will claim that it was too hot. Dreadfully hot. Dangerously hot. But I don’t buy it.

Granted, I prefer the heat so maybe I’m not a fair judge. (I can’t stand the cold. I get cold easily and then I stay cold forever and am miserable. And this includes intolerable conditions such as air-conditioned buildings, fyi.)

That being said… Personally, I thought Saturday’s game was in worse heat (in fact, it almost made me sick). For this game, however, I thought it was quite comfortable. Warmups were conducted in overcast yet balmy ‘begging-to-rain’ conditions and by the time I had made it up to my seat to start the game, the sun had yet to show its full face. Then, of course, where I was located in the second tier (loge), as you can see here, there’s a lot of shade so I never was exposed to the sun when it finally did come out.

I tell you this because it will help explain how utterly shocked I was when at one point during the game they showed that field thermometer was registering at 119-degrees! Which had me wondering later, as I watched a woman seated near the on-deck circle climb onto a gurney and get toted away by medics, if she was suffering from some form of heat exhaustion or sun stroke or dehydration.

However, in my opinion, none of this temperature talk is reason enough to excuse a half-empty stadium on a Sunday afternoon!

A View To A Kill

The view from my seat for Game Two of the Dodger series in LA. 7.22.06

“A View To Kill”? Well, we did beat the Dodgers 6-1 two games in a row while I was sitting here.

As you can see, this is a perfect seat from which to watch the game. However, given the limitations of little digital camera, it wasn’t the best place from which to shoot action photos at night. (Sadly, Zoom + Darkness doesn’t equal quality photography.) Sigh

Redline

Cardinals fans line the right field wall before Game Two of the Dodger series in LA. 7.22.06

Do you see these seating “cubicles”? A gentleman at the game told me that they are apparently terrible seats because they are so low the folks in cubicles two and three boxes back can’t see the field. However, they are viewed by the organization as prime seating and so when they were first put in they were offered to season ticket holders who jumped at a chance to sitt closer to the field. Of course, it was soon discovered that their old seats, higher in the stands, were better and before anyone knew it, dissatisfied customers were complaining and wanting to get their old tickets back. From the sounds of it, the whole debacle was a real mess. The real kicker is, none of the money-to-burn regulars nor the high-priced fans want the seats but they continue to be extravagantly priced for businesses and corporations who buy in and then give tickets away to clients, etc. Such a sham!

On an unrelated but related note: These cubicles remind me of the old puritan and Revolutionary-era churches and meeting houses I toured in Boston. Instead of pews as we generally know them to be, those establishments have similar style seating. In those cases, the pew boxes served two purposes: 1. Heat. Because those buildings didn’t have a central heat source, families would bring hot coals or bricks in footwarmers and the cubicles would help retain the heat. 2. With pew box seating, the church could then rent out each cubicle and make a little money on the side. As long as they kept up the yearly rent, it wasn’t/isn’t uncommon for a family to occupy the same pew box for several generations.

So now you’ve had your history lesson for the day.

Quite A View

The view of the field from my Game One seat at Dodger Stadium: Section 5FD (field), Row K, Seat 7. 7.21.06

I was in the first section up from the exclusive seating surrounding the backstop and dugouts. You can see that section just below. I point this out because if you follow that section around the backstop to the right to where you might imagine the other end of the netting would be (just out of frame) and about five rows up from the field, you’d find the seat where faithful Cardinals fan Billy Bob Thornton was sitting.

Though I’m certain he was able to procure his ticket on his own clout, I suspect BBT was there on account of Jeff Suppan who was pitching this game. When I worked with Billy on “Bad News Bears” Jeff came to our field and the two buds had a catch outside our star’s trailer. (In case you were wondering, we filmed that movie from late Nov. 2004 thru early March 2005.)

All Rise

This is me in my new Cardinals t-shirt– a birthday gift from my Mom– in Dodger Stadium a half hour or so before the start of Game One against the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. 7.21.06

Note the time on the register below. It says this picture was taken at 7:16pm. In most places the game would have started six minutes ago and the seats would be filled with fans. Well, here in LA they do things a little differently.

Many of the weekday Dodger games are held a half hour later than tradition would have it. What would normally be a 7:10p game in St. Louis is a 7:40p game here Los Angeles. Why? Traffic. Bumper-to-bumper, long winding parking lot, rush hour traffic.

You see, in an effort to accomodate fans who will inevitably need to wade through that notorious SoCal backup, the folks at Chavez Ravine have graciously pushed back game times to allow for expected traffic delays. But, even with this half hour grace period, Dodger fans continue to hold true to the “fashionably late” stereotype which dictates that the fans won’t reach their game-day capacity until about the 3rd inning.

However, I feel compelled to point out that if you get to the field for batting practice (the gates open two hours before game time) you, like me, can avoid traffic all together.