The 92nd Major League Baseball All-Star game pulled out of Los Angeles this past Wednesday morning and is now headed to Seattle Washington for next year’s summer classic.
The game this year had several significant twist for Dodgers fans like us. For the first time in 42 years the game was back at Chavez Ravine. The number 42 also represented the coveted number worn by Jackie Robinson. Just as important the game was played on July 19th which happened to coincide with Mrs. Rachel Robinson’s 100th birthday.
For us it was a great experience. We participated in several days at the CapitalOne Ballpark Experience which took over the Los Angeles Convention Center and adjoining L.A. Live complex. We also attended the Home Run derby which was a great exhibition, although as a die-hard baseball fan I must admit some of the duels appeared tainted with manipulation………ummm.
We kicked off the final event by attending the All-Star game. The representation of fans at the game wearing their favorite team gear was just as impressive as the simmering heat. Here are some pics of our experience.
CapitalOne Ballpark Experience
As a person who appreciates the history of the Negro Leagues it was great to attend a panel themed “The Life & Legacy of Jackie Robinson.” To truly understand the impact you would need to familiarize yourself with his stint as a member of the Kansas City Monarchs.
The world remembers Jackie breaking the color barrier in 1947 but another key reason why owners were reluctant to integrate was the huge sums they were making from the popular Negro Leagues who used major league stadiums to play while they were on the road. They were making money hand-over fist, for basically doing nothing but opening the gates. Once they let Jackie in and the other great players followed, the Negro Leagues waned and the owners lost that source of income they had enjoyed for all of the years.” Bob Kendrick, Executive Director Negro League Baseball Museum.
As mentioned we were able to attend the popular Home Run Derby thanks to Jackie from MLB who gifted us with tickets.
We contemplated on going to the game as for month’s we pondered if the tickets would be out of reach for our budget?It was decided the event was too important to pass up so we made adjustments to make sure we could witness the game, as if it took 42 years for the game to land back at the Ravine, more than likely we would not be here physically the next time it was awarded to the Dodgers. Normally we are in Loge 130 but we opted for the right field pavilion for a different experience.
The game was important but the one issue for us was whether Mrs. Robinson would be in attendance? We have seen her numerous times at the Ravine as over the years she has consistently appeared. Even at 99, looking glamorous and regal she was present this past April 15th. Here is a special clip prepared by MLB “Celebrating Rachel”
Understandingly she did not make it but Mookie Betts summoned all players to the home plate area and asked the 54,000+ fans to join him in wishing her a Happy Birthday.
Another highlight was having Denzel Washington, who is no stranger to Dodger Stadium give a poignant presentation on Jackie Robinson.
Finally, I haven’t been able to locate the clip but as soon as I do it will be posted. MLB’s Harold Reynold’s featured a special about the Legacy of Jackie Robinson. It featured Spike Lee, President Bill Clinton, Bo Jackson and Bud Selig. IT IS A MUST SEE.