Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dodger Stadium Express is Coming Back

Coming back to Dodger Stadium, to the cheers of the environmentally minded and driving averse public, is Dodger Stadium Express.  Go to the LA Metro home for details

As you probably already know, this a complimentary bus ride service from Union Station to Dodger Stadium, but there is now an added bonus. Per their press release:
For the fourth consecutive year, LA Metro will offer the Dodger Stadium Express bus service, but with an additional perk for 2013. For the first time, the Dodger Stadium Express bus service will include a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard from Union Station to Elysian Park Avenue. Dodger game day tickets will be honored as payment to ride the bus service and the shuttle will operate 90 minutes before the game and 45 minutes after the game starting Friday. Regular season service starts on Opening Day, Monday, April 1.
BTW, in hopes of not confusing you, the bus line will start tomorrow, Friday, for the Dodgers/Angels Freeway Series.

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What Dodger Stadium Could Have Looked Like

In anticipation of the Grand Re-Opening of Dodger Stadium, I though it would be fun (if not interesting) to take a brief look at what the Dodgers home could have looked like.  Thanks to a recent post on reddit I was reminded of Hershiser's bid to buy the team and his grand plan to remake Dodger Stadium into a technological playground.

As I'm sure you'll be saying to yourself soon, thank goodness the Guggenheim folks bought the team because this vision would have made us all blind.

The above renderings were produced by Lynx Architecture.  They state that they were:
commissioned to design a new state-of-the art upgraded version of the stadium, complete with an iconic electronic big screen TV. The new design includes the addition of double-deck seating above the right field, structure parking near the field, a grand accessible walkway circling the stadium, a new restaurant, as well as cultural, themed, and entertainment venues.
As you'll recall, Orel Hershiser came to the table with South Korean electronics giant LG as a partner.  Per Bill Shaikin's report from March of last year:
The core concept is to turn Dodger Stadium into a "futuristic electronic showcase" to enhance fan enjoyment, particularly in this era of mobile technology, according to a press release issued Friday. Yet some elements of the rendering appear jarring -- a double-deck pavilion in right field, demolition of the reserve deck down the left-field line, and an overall view beyond the outfield wall that closely resembles the cavernous home of the Texas Rangers.
Many fans disliked these conceptual drawings, unsurprisingly.  Hershiser added in retort:
"We just want to give people a dream of what could happen," he said. "You can't tell the story without a picture. The idea is to show people all the elements that are possible and not to say, 'This is it.' "
Clearly, he was absolutely right about trying to appeal to a new world filled with new media, technology and instant communication, but wrong on implementation.  I think the recent photos shared by the current Dodgers ownership of the renovations tells us that they are taking those steps in the right direction.  They are focused on the beauty and majesty that is Dodger Stadium while making necessary improvement in aesthetics and amenities.  Check out some of those photos below that the @Dodgers tweeted.

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Rare Vintage Baseball Image Found on eBay

It's not often that a vintage photo featuring no professional ballplayers gets so much attention.  In fact, it's just an old 1860's era photograph on cardboard backing (commonly referred to as a CDV or carte de viste) of a group of school children enjoying the growing game of Base Ball during school recess.  Check out the photo above, as well as a blown-up image of just the kids playing ball below.  Also, you can view the original auction here.
(Auction Link)

(Auction Link)
This single 2.5" x 4" photo sold at $3,800.00.  Why so much, you ask?

Well, first of all action photos of the game on CDV form or dated from the 1860's or older are extremely rare.  Like, super rare!... You just don't see them.  The photographic arts was so new back then, they had yet to really figure out action shots.  Granted, considering the placement of the kids on the field (being that they are so close together) you might argue that this was posed for the photographer.  Still, it's a rare image that clearly shows the game.  Furthermore, other like-kind photos from the era usually only show Baseball in the background rather than as the main focus of the photo.  For instance, a 1862 photograph at Fort Pulaski in Georgia shows soldiers standing in formation while other soldiers are seen playing Base Ball in the background (see that here).  Clearly, this photo is just about some kids playing the game.

Additionally, this very same image was specifically featuring in Ken Burns' Baseball documentary.  It can even be found in the companion Baseball documentary book (page 60).  See it below.

So, this photo is iconic and a rarity in the hobby.  A version of the print was also featured in the most important film/documentary to ever record the history of the game.  And, any monied collector interested in the the game's past probably placed a bid.

All I want to know is what the heck are those two kids standing on 2nd and 3rd base doing?  They both have their arms way above their heads in anticipation of a pitch to the batter.  What the heck?

Hat Tip: Leon at the Net54 Message Board.

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Blog Kiosk: 3/28/2013

So... Can I take one of these home?  Above is a pic tweeted by the @Dodgers of one of the giant bobbleheads that have been installed at Dodger Stadium.  Can you say Conan O'Brien?
  • Is it too early to say that Dodger Thoughts is back?  Jon Weisman pens a great piece focused on the often unappreciated greatness of Burt Hooton.
  • Lyle Spencer at tells us that Chan Ho Park believes in Ryu's skills.
 "Wait until May, June," said Park, who was a big brother figure for Ryu in 2012 on the staff of the Hanwha Eagles of South Korea and has been in the Dodgers' camp late this spring. "He's going to get better. That's how he is. He gets stronger and sharper as the season goes on. As long as he stays comfortable, he'll be fine."
"I was hungry to be in the big leagues and I knew I could play here. I just never had a real chance to play," Cruz said. "But you just keep waiting and waiting for that chance and then try to take advantage of it when it comes." 
  • Dustin Nosler at Feelin' Kinda Blue lets us know that both Billingsley and Lilly are likely to start season on the DL.
  • You should check this out if you're artistically inclined.  Via the Baseball Hall of Fame, the US Mint will have a coin design competition for a 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Coin that will be made.
  • Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs explores the consequences of the new balk rule.
  • MLB and the Players Union recently released PED test results going back to the start of the 2011 season to the end of the 2012 playoffs.  See the press release here.
A total of 5,136 samples -- 3,955 urine tests and 1,181 blood tests -- were collected and analyzed during the time period. Eighteen of the results were positive and resulted in discipline. Seven were for performance-enhancing substances, including four for testosterone and one each for Clenbuterol, Clostebol and Tamoxifen. Eleven were for stimulants, 10 for Adderall and one for d-amphetamine.

There were 119 Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted for Attention Deficit Disorder (116), Hypertension (2) and Hypogonadism (1).
  • As you probably know, the LA Kings visited the White House the other day in honor of their Stanley Cup victory last season.  Go to the LA Kings Insider official team blog to see some photos from their visit.

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