I love day games. I always tell people
that. First of all, it makes it easier for me to take pictures since
there’s plenty of natural light. But the biggest reason why I love
day games? The players are much more accessible to the fans. The
thing I don’t like about day games? It’s hot. Really hot. And I
usually pack a lot of gear, so I usually end up paying for parking.
For instance, I had one bag with the Dodger cooler bag with five
bottles of ice water (well they were frozen solid at the time), a
towel (to sit on) sun block, my big bottle of coke, my Dodger cap and
my wolf mask. I also had my purse with my scrapbook, Sharpies and
pens, and all my other necessary little things like chapstick and
stuff. Then there’s the camera bag with the school’s SLR camera and
my digital camera (plus extra batteries and stuff). Think I got
enough stuff? It was funny. Right before the gates opened, another
Dodger fan noticed I was waiting for the gates to open. He asked me,
“not walking in today?” I said no, and offered him and the person
he was with a ride (sorry if you guys are reading this. I met a lot
of people today and can’t remember half of everyone’s names). They
hopped in the back seat and off we went. I got the spot I wanted,
under the trees. I waved to the crossing guard guy since he wasn’t by
the cross walk where I was.
By the time I got in, most of the
Dodger players (well, pitchers) were already out playing catch. Why
is it that only the pitchers are out during day games and batting
practice? Anyway, I zoomed in and raced over to the baseline section
right behind where Wolfie was. I took a few photos from the row
that’s right behind the baseline since I couldn’t go down. But I
would go down a few boxes to take a few photos and then go back. Cat
came down and went to her box seat. Just in time for a ball to come
right to her! I saw Wolfie look up, yell out “look out” and the
ball bounce right to Cat! Wolfie started to leave and I called out to
him. I asked him to sign my scrapbook. He said, “how about a ball
instead?” and he threw me the ball. I had a little trouble seeing
(bright sun and all) and the wolf hat on my head. I almost caught it.
But it hit the bone of my palm where the thumb connects to my hand.
That hurt. The ball rolled away and I had to chase it down. Thank
goodness no one tried to go after it! I probably looked silly chasing
after the ball. But Wolfie threw it to me! To me! I put it in a case
and stuck it on top of the other Wolf ball I have.
With Wolf gone, I went back to my usual
field section. Mainly to look for friends. I talked to one of the
ushers for a bit. Showed him some of the worksheets I have with the
stats of the games I’ve gone to. He asked me to bring it the next
time I come to a game. He thought it was cool and interesting. I
didn’t realize it till I was going over the stats, that after we
traded for Manny last year, I know he hit a ton of homeruns for us …
but he didn’t hit any homeruns in any of the games I went to last
year. He’s hit a ton for us this year, that’s for sure! I found Chris
and Chelsea. Hiroki Kuroda came by and signed a bunch of autographs.
I tried to get him to sign my scrapbook, but he had already gone down
a few people. With Chris’ help, I got his autograph!
Next came the Birthday Boy, Charlie
Haeger. A fan brought a tray of cupcakes for him. He started signing
autographs by the baseline section and worked his way towards the
bullpen. I tried to get him by the baseline but he already left by
the time I got there. So, I had to chase him down towards the bullpen
too. I didn’t have a picture of him, but I did have the article from
his first start. He said it was cool, when I told him what he was
It was hot and I was ready to get in
the shade. I found a friend and she asked me if I wanted to go down
front with her. We ended up in the baseline seats, right by the
camera well by the dugout. She introduced me to her usher and her
friends. Two of her friends were the couple from the car next to
mine! What a coincidence! The players started coming out to warm up.
Jim Thome came over to sign. I had him
sign the inside cover of my scrapbook. Again, I haven’t caught up yet
in my scrapbook. Man, I wish I had! Right before Thome, Ronnie
Belliard came over too. He was talking to my friend while Thome was
signing for us. My friend asked me to get a ball signed by Belliard
for her. I agreed, after all, she was the reason why I was down
there. After the game started, I wished I could’ve asked him to sign
my scrapbook too. Juan Castro also came by and I had him sign the
Right before the players took the
field, Matt always stands on the top step of the dugout and jumps up
and down. He looked over and the kids who take the field with the
players were jumping up and down with him. It was super cute!
I walked around for a little bit before
heading up to my seat. I think I’ve become accustomed to not being in
my seat when the game starts. Thankfully, Garland only gave up one
unearned run in the first. He settled down for the rest of the game.
Eight innings! You knew Penny wasn’t going to be able to go eight
innings like Garland. Especially not after he gave up the grand slam
in the first inning to Ronnie Belliard! When Belliard hit that homer,
I didn’t realize it was a grand slam. Funny. I knew the bases were
loaded. I was taking pictures of each runner as they crossed the
plate and I counted, “one, two, three… hey it’s a grand slam!”
The Creature made another appearance at
today’s game. He made his appearance in the bottom of the fifth
inning. He was in the Top Deck, where fortunately there are no
cameras to zoom in on him. He started in one section on the first
base side and then he came down our aisle. He disappeared for a
little bit. He came back again, but this time security wasn’t that
far behind him.
Penny didn’t last long. Two and
two-thirds, seven earned runs, three home runs. Not only did I get
three autographs and ball, the Dodgers got four home runs today.
Ronnie Belliard’s grand slam. Then Brad Penny served up back to back
home runs to Matt Kemp and James Loney. Loney finally hit his first
home run at Dodger Stadium in over a year! I was kicking myself for
not capturing a shot of Kemp’s home run. I had my camera ready,
finger on the shutter, when Kemp hit his home run. But I didn’t push
it! I was kicking myself over it … and then Loney hit his! I was
kicking myself even more! And to add even more fat to the fire …
Blake DeWitt added a pinch-hit home run to the mix.
By the time the game ended, the score
card probably looked more like a spring training game than a game in
the middle of a heated divisional race. That’s what my new friend
behind me was saying. It was good to see Eye-Chart play first base.
Oh, and by the way. My hand has been
hurting most of the night… not sure if it’s related to trying to
catch a ball barehanded … or something else… And yes … I am going to post more pictures from this game in a separate entry. I got some really good ones. But I didn’t want this entry to get too long.