My daughter Lilly and husband Bart are big Dodger fans. They invited my hubby George, me, and Bart’s family to a Dodger game for Mother’s Day. I hadn’t been to Dodger stadium in 40 years.
It sure brought back memories from when I was 16 and experienced my first Dodger game. I went with high school friends, and we sat in cheap seats in left field. Willie Crawford hit a foul ball our way. Some guy near us tried to catch it, but it ricocheted off his hand and landed under the empty seat next to me!
Photo by Jaclyn Rubio
Woo hoo! How many fans can claim they got a foul ball at their first Dodger game? But it gets even better. We stayed after the game, hoping to get it autographed. Home run for me! I got it signed by Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Steve Yeager, and Doug Rau. I guess the Dodgers don’t do regular signings after the games anymore. Die-hard fans would die to have that ball!
Oh, but this story gets even better. When I met my husband, George, who loves baseball, he was super impressed with that autographed ball. That might even be the real reason he married me!
He never made it to the big leagues but was content playing on city league teams that had funky names like The Horny Devils, The Hooters, and The Yard Dogs. When we had children, he had high hopes that our son would become a major leaguer, so George signed Puck up for t-ball when he turned 5.
Perhaps we should have bought a special glass case for my prized souvenir. One day Puck found it, took it outside, and tossed it around. You guessed it! Those autographs were pretty much obliterated. Yes, Dodger fans, go ahead and cringe. That’s what my husband did when he discovered what happened. Of course, Puck didn’t get punished. He had no idea what was in his grasp. It was our fault for not keeping it out of his reach.
Flash forward to Mother’s Day 2012
Dana, Heidi, Lily, me, Lily’s mother-in-law Diane, and George.
Our seats were in the second row from the bottom of the top level.
Lily, my middle daughter, and me.
The first 20,000 fans to arrive received a free Dodger tote bag.
I expected a cheap tote, but these are well made and very nice.
Spunky mom, Diane (3rd from the left), and her girls stylin’ with their matching totes!
This was the seventh year Major League Baseball raised funds for
breast cancer research. The Dodgers wore pink ribbon decals on their shirts.
Some of the players used pink bats, which were later
auctioned off to help pay for breast cancer research.
Diane shared her peanuts.
I shared my spray bottle filled with water.
I forgot to buy Cracker Jack’s, but I did get a Dodger dog! Yum!
The temps were cookin’ and the only shade I had was from the
bill of the Dodger cap George bought me for Mother’s Day.
That little spray bottle was a life saver.
We were in the second row back from the rail. I stooped real low for this pic.
Although birds’ flight paths were much lower than our seats,
I had no problem viewing the game.
Good thing, because it turned out to be ultra exciting!
At first, the Dodgers were losing to the Colorado Rockies,
who scored four runs right off the bat (bad pun intended).
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Bobby Abreu hit a three-run double,
followed up by A.J. Ellis with a three-run home run!
They got our blood pumpin’, our hearts throbbing, and the fans dancing and screaming.
The Dodgers ended up with a sweep against Colorado. The final score: 11 to 5.
Go Dodger Blue!
To get the whole skinny on the Mother’s Day game,
go to Lasorda’s Lair: Dishing Up the Dodgers.
After the victory, we checked out the gift shop.
There’s a wall with murals of Dodgers who made
National League MVP. Here’s Steve Garvey in 1974.
(Dang! He looked mighty fine. Wish I still had that autographed ball!)
Aw, and look at young Sandy Koufax in 1963. An all-time fave.
Lilly and Bart with his mom, Diane, his sisters, and father, Antonio.
Because our seats were on the highest level, we parked in the lot at the very top
and didn’t have to stand in line to take an elevator to the lower parking.
Top level parking lot overlooks the City of Angels.
Bart’s sister is quite athletic. Bet you never would have guessed that, huh?
We stopped at Philippe’s Restaurant for one of their famous French dip sandwiches.
I’d never been there before. It was established 103 years ago.
All the other Dodger fans had the same idea. Philippe’s was packed.
We’re standing in line to order. I’m the one in front with the hat hair.
Philippe’s has a large glass case with baseballs signed by Dodgers
through the years. George pointed out one signed by Mickey Mantel.
If we’d kept my autographed baseball in a glass case, we’d still have that gem.
Also displayed in the case is a certificate
congratulating Philippe’s on its 90th anniversary.
Philippe’s also offers a taste of nostalgia with these old phone booths.
And an antique scale!
Let me weigh in now and say I had a marvelous, memorable Mother’s Day,
and I won’t wait another 40 years before I return to Dodger Stadium!
How about you? Are you a big sports fan? Do you enjoy going to live games?
Do you have any special mementos that you’ve saved?
Do you have a parenting or grandparenting memory
or another story you’d like to share?
If you’re not a parent, memories from your own childhood count, too!
Warning: I might feature your story in a future post.
(Names can be changed to protect the guilty!)
I’d like to thank all those who have shared their stories.
These posts wouldn’t be the same without your input.
If you don’t want to leave a comment but would rather contact me by email,
here’s my address: lynkelwoohoo at yahoo dot com.
(The names Lily, Bart, Puck, Heidi, and Dana are nicknames.)