--Danny Ozark, Phillies manager - when asked about his team's morale
Dodger Stadium, in Los Angeles, California, has been the home of
the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball team since 1962. It was also
the home of the Los Angeles Angels between 1962 and 1965. It is also,
despite Art Moreno's fantasies, the only place in the city to watch Major
Elysian Park Ave.
Los Angeles, California
Angeles Dodgers (1962-)
Los Angeles Angels (1962-1965)
Field - 330 ft
Med Left-Center - 360 ft
True Left-Center - 375 ft
Center Field - 395 ft
True Right-Center - 375 ft
Med Right Field - 360 ft
Right Field - 330 ft
Backstop - 75 ft
Foul territory: Large
The park is still also sometimes referred to as Chavez Ravine
(more formally as Chavez Ravine Stadium), after the name of the
site where it was constructed, and the name used by the Angels
organization during their tenancy.
Despite being technically in a ravine, it is also on a hillside that
overlooks downtown Los Angeles, and is prominently visible, most
dramatically during night games.
The stadium holds 56,000 fans and was designed to be capable of
expansion to 85,000 seats. It has a unique terraced-earthworks parking lot
behind the main stands, which allows ticketholders to park at roughly the
level that their seats are, minimizing their climbing and descending of
ramps once they get inside the stadium. The design is also alleged to be
earthquake-resistant, certainly an important consideration in California.
to Dodger Stadium!
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It was the only park of its era designed specifically for baseball, and
with the construction of many new major league ballparks in recent years,
is now one of the oldest still in use. Being privately owned, however, and
maintained with a level of pride that is typically missing from public
facilities, it has stood the test of time very well, and no plans are in
the offing to replace it, although some renovations were made in 2004 that
added luxury suites, a feature that had not been previously present.
Because of overall poor visibility for hitters, fairly large dimensions
and a large amount of foul territory, Dodger Stadium has enjoyed a
well-deserved reputation as a pitchers' park. Even the almost always
pleasant California weather benefits pitchers. During evening games, as
the sun sets, the surrounding air cools quickly due to the ocean climate,
becoming more dense, and deep fly balls that might be home runs during the
day instead "die" in the air for routine outs.
Several power pitchers such as Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Fernando
Valenzuela became superstars after arriving in Los Angeles. The park's
significant advantage was eroded somewhat in 1969, in general because MLB
rules were changed to lower the maximum height of the pitcher's mound, and
more specifically because the Dodgers moved the diamond about 10 feet
towards center field. This also gave the fielders more room to catch foul
balls, so there was some tradeoff. Renovations in 2004 added some seats to
the field level, reducing somewhat the amount of foul territory.
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
Dodger Stadium was the first Major League Baseball stadium since the
initial construction of Yankee Stadium to
be built using entirely private financing, and the last until Pacific
Bell Park was built.
2005 is the Dodger franchise's 44th season at Dodger Stadium, only one
season less than it spent at its storied ancestral home, Ebbets
Field (1913-1957). Thanks to the 162-game season that coincidentally
went into effect the year the stadium opened, as of 2005 the Dodgers have
actually played more games at Dodger Stadium than they did at
Ebbets Field. In the mid-1950s, team president Walter O'Malley had tried
to convince the Borough of Brooklyn to construct a new stadium, complete
with dome, to replace the woefully cramped Ebbets. O'Malley eventually got
his stadium, except it was in Los Angeles and without a dome. Barring
unforeseen circumstances, Dodger Stadium should outlive Ebbets Field by a
good margin. In 2009, with the projected completion of the new Yankee
Stadium, and if Wrigley Field and Fenway
Park are still around, Dodger Stadium would become the third oldest
Major League ball park still in use, albeit some five decades younger than
those other two venerable facilities.
The land for Dodger Stadium was expropriated from the local residents
in the early 1950s by the city of Los Angeles under eminent domain. The
residents were told that it was to be used for low-income housing and that
the residents would have their choice of the new homes. The city, however,
used the land to induce the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers to relocate the
franchise in Los Angeles.
Famous LA author Mike Davis, in his seminal work on the city, City
of Quartz, describes the process of gradually convincing Chavez Ravine
homeowners to sell. With nearly all of the original, Spanish-speaking
homeowners initially unwilling to sell, developers resorted to offering
immediate cash payments, distributed through their Spanish-speaking
agents. Once the first sales had been completed, remaining homeowners were
offered increasingly lesser amounts of money, to create a community panic
of not receiving fair compensation, or of being left as one of the only
The top of a local hill was removed and the soil was used to fill in
the actual Chavez Ravine, to provide a level surface for a parking lot and
A few years after the stadium opened, a minor land dispute arose. A
nearby landowner claimed that a corner of his property had been paved over
as part of the parking lot. He announced he was going to build a small
hamburger stand on that small slice of property, selling "O'Malleyburgers",
the buns to carry an imprint of Dodgers' owner Walter O'Malley, so that
disgruntled patrons could "bite off his ear". Apparently a
settlement was reached, as nothing much came of this incident.
2005-2006 Offseason Improvements
At the conclusion of the 2005 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced
plans for major renovations during the 2005-2006 offseason. The largest of
these improvements will be the replacing of nearly all the seats in the
stadium. The new seats will be in the original 1962 color sheme consisting
of yellow, light orange, turquoise, and sky blue. The baseline seating
sections will be converted into retro-style "box" seating,
adding leg room and a table for fans. Other maintenance and repair will be
made to the concrete structure of the stadium.
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