Dodger Stadium

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(Redirected from Chavez Ravine)

Home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, 1962 to present

Home of the Los Angeles Angels, 1962 to 1965

(also known as Chavez Ravine when hosting the Angels)

BUILT: 1962

CAPACITY: 56,000

FIRST GAME: April 10, 1962 vs. the Cincinnati Reds (Reds 6, Dodgers 3)

DIMENSIONS:

Left-field: 330 feet
Center-field: 395 feet
Right-field: 330 feet

LONGEST HOME RUN: 506 ft. completely out of the stadium (one of only four ever to do so) by Willie Stargell

GOOGLE EARTH: View Dodger Stadium in Google Earth

DodgerStdm.jpg

Dodger Stadium is the current home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. It is regularly among the leaders in attendance in Major League Baseball, often around 3 million. It is the site of one of the most famous home runs in major league history, Kirk Gibson's home run off Dennis Eckersley that ended Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. That feat that was celebrated on its 30th anniversary, in 2018, by adding a seat in the right-field pavilion decorated in blue and featuring Gibson's signature.

The ballpark is also known as Chavez Ravine, because of the former neighborhood on which it sits. When it first opened in 1962, it was the shared home of the Dodgers and the American League's Los Angeles Angels; the Angels called the ballpark Chavez Ravine during the four seasons they made it their home, until the end of the 1965 season, after which they moved to Anaheim Stadium.

Stadium as seen from the air.

Chavez Ravine was a shantytown neighborhood inhabited by Mexican Americans when the city of Los Angeles identified the site for development. Using eminent domain powers, the city expropriated the inhabitants in order to use the land for "public purposes". In fact, most of the land was turned over to Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley to build a ballpark, while O'Malley gave the city Wrigley Field in return, which was demolished and whose land could be put to use by the city.

The ballpark's address was 100 Elysian Park Avenue, until in April 2016, the Los Angeles City Council decided to rename the street "Vin Scully Avenue" in honor of the team's legendary broadcaster, Vin Scully, who was entering his 67th and final season behind the microphone. The new address is 1000 Vin Scully Ave.

Reaching the ballpark by private vehicle is the only feasible option for the vast majority of spectators, resulting in huge traffic jams and in many fans routinely missing the first pitch as a result. In 2018, inventor Elon Musk proposed to build a network of public transportation tunnels of 3.6 miles that would allow the transportation of passengers in small specially designed vehicles from West Hollywood to the ballpark, bypassing the worst of the traffic. The Dodgers immediately indicated their interest in proceeding with such a project. Under the ownership of Mark Walter, the Dodgers have been looking into other ways to change the ballpark experience (and not coincidentally increase profits). These include opening a night club and sports bars within the ballpark complex, giving fans access to up-to-the minute analytical data through their smart phones, or allow fans to switch seats every few innings to give them different viewpoints on the action.

In the history of Major League Baseball, there have only been three fatalities recorded when a fan was struck by a foul ball; in a grim coincidence, two of them occurred at Dodger Stadium. The first was in 1970, when a young female fan was struck by a foul ball off the bat of Manny Mota, and the second a few days after an elderly fan was struck by a ball hit by Franmil Reyes of the San Diego Padres on August 25, 2018. In the latter case, protective netting had been extended before the season in order to protect fans better, but the fatal foul ball passed just above it.

In July 2019, the Dodgers announced a plan for $100 million in renovations to the ballpark, in anticipation of hosting the 2020 All-Star Game; the game had only been held once before in the ballpark, in 1980. In contrast, it has been the stage for the World Series 10 times in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988, 2017 and 2018.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Robert A. James: "Field of Liens: Real-Property Development in Baseball", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 39, Number 2 (Fall 2010), pp. 116-121.
  • Bob Nightengale: "Inside Dodgers' plan to revolutionize the fan experience: 'This is a show business'", USA Today, January 16, 2019. [1]
  • Jerald Podair: City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2017. ISBN 978-0-6911-2503-9



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