JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour, Civil Rights Game in Los Angeles

Part II: Civil Rights Game (Jackie Robinson Day)

Even though I have been to Dodger Stadium more times than I can count, this game warrants a short and special blog post because of the meaning of this game. Plus, this would count towards my ballpark count for the season. In addition, my good friend, Paul (borsche28), took video during that day and it’s up on YouTube for you all to see. Check it out, it’s a really well-done video.

For the longest time, I’ve been of the mindset that the Dodgers deserve to host a Civil Rights Game because of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Year after year, I’d see that particular game usually played in Atlanta, or somewhere else in the South. I get it; having the game down there is of great importance for civil rights. But, why not give the Dodgers that chance? It finally happened in 2015 when the Dodgers hosted the Seattle Mariners on April 15, 2015.

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My friends who know me are cognizant of the fact that if it’s April 15th on the calendar, I’m attending a baseball game, no matter what. Every year since 2003, I’ve attended “Jackie Robinson Day” to celebrate the man who changed the game forever (usually with the Dodgers playing). On April 15, 1947, Robinson broke the color barrier when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Every year, the Dodgers would all wear #42 in his honor. Only twice have I been to a Jackie Robinson Day game that was not at Dodger Stadium: 2004 when the Dodgers played at the then-new Petco Park in San Diego, and 2014 when I went to Angel Stadium.

This game, there was all the pomp and circumstance you could expect. Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, Frank Robinson… and Rachel Robinson (Jackie’s wife) who had so much grace to endure the hardships of that 1947 season. Everybody that mattered was there, and it was magnificent. Truly one of the better pre-game ceremonies that I had seen at the Ravine. On top of that, the Dodgers had a very appropriate giveaway which might have contributed to the massive crowd of 51, 287. Everybody 14 and over got a replica cream-colored Jackie Robinson jersey! That jersey looked really good for being a free giveaway.

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In addition to that giveaway, there was another giveaway of sorts… and I will plug something really awesome here. Michael Chuhon (of S Preston Designs) is known in baseball circles for his amazing minimalist ballpark artwork. Last year, I decided to finally save a bit of money and purchase the large all-stadium print. I’ll actually write more about his art on another post here. Anyway, he was having a small contest at Dodger Stadium as he was also attending the same game! He was giving away a special “Ballpark Princess” piece specifically for Jackie Robinson Day. My sister, also named Jacky, saw his Instagram and jumped on the chance to get a Dodgers Elsa drawing! She enjoys baseball, and loves Disney. No, she REALLY loves Disney so she was ecstatic to receive that random giveaway. Apparently, she also introduced him to the Dodger Dog! He sat with us for a short bit, and began drawing again. It was too cool for words.

As for the game, the boys in blue got off to a fast start and jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings. The Mariners would score a couple runs later, but Los Angeles was just too good on this day. My hometown Dodgers won 5-2, and earned the sweep over the Seattle Mariners. Overall, it was a great time had by all, and I got to visit my 2nd ballpark of the season. Of course, this was just the beginning and I would see the Mariners again real soon.

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I want to extend a big thanks to Paul for taking amazing video, to Michael Chuhon for having a meaningful giveaway via his Twitter account (@pootpoot) and Instagram account (@sprestondesigns), to the Dodgers for holding another great Jackie Robinson Day with sweet giveaways, and to the MLB for finally recognizing the importance of having the Civil Rights Game during Jackie Robinson Day at Chavez Ravine. Plus, I want to thank you all for reading. Please leave me any comments, or contact me via Twitter and Instagram. I’d love to hear your thoughts. See you at the ballpark!

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-JD

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