Friday, March 28, 2008

I get to interview Duke Snider!

On Saturday night the largest crowd ever to see a baseball game will file into the Los Angeles Coliseum to watch the Dodgers host the Boston Red Sox. 115,000 people are expected. Imagine how many more if the game wasn’t just a meaningless exhibition. But for anyone like me who remembers the Dodgers first coming to LA and playing in this crumbling relic for four years (until Chavez Levine opened) it’s an amazing trip down memory lane.

Not to get too nostalgic but how can you not miss and yearn for a venue…

Where you couldn’t see?

Where the seats were all hard benches?

Where they weren’t allowed to serve beer?

Where there was no parking or public transportation?

Where the dimensions were so wacky they needed to erect a 42-foot screen in left field otherwise you could bunt for a home run?

Where there were no dot races?

To celebrate the Dodgers’ 50th anniversary in Los Angeles, in a stroke of genius they’ve scheduled this one day return to those happier simpler times when Russia was testing nuclear bombs and the U.S. Post Office was banning “Lady Chatterley's Lover” on obscenity grounds.

But talk about a dream come true for a kid who went to games at the Coliseum and idolized these Dodgers, I’ll be hosting a three hour pregame show on 790 KABC where I get to interview them. It’s from 4-7 PDT and I believe KABC is streaming it on the net.

After the game I’ll be hosting Dodger Talk (with my partner Josh Suchon) for my dream audience – 115,000 trapped people trying desperately to get out of the parking lots.

I can’t wait. In fact, if I even remotely hope to get a parking place I better leave now.

26 comments:

snichael said...

Ken, that was one of my favorite bar bets: what's the highest attendance ever at a World Series game? [it's 92,706 at Game 5 of the '59 World Series in the Coliseum] People always forget the Dodgers played there, and consequently, even if you spot them "plus or minus 20,000"...you usually got yourself a free beer!

Anonymous said...

Duke Snider was mentioned in the movie "Casper" when Casper was alive as a little boy he was a fan of him and got a base ball mit signed by him.

Bill said...

The screen didn't accomplish much... Wally Moon still managed 37 home runs at home over three years in the coliseum vs 12 on the road.

Webs said...

One of the absolute pleasures of being an Expos fan in the '70s and '80s was listening to Duke Snider and Dave Van Horne do broadcasts.

VP81955 said...

Today's Coliseum dimensions will be even more ridiculous than they were from 1958-61, because in the 1990s several additional lower rows were added as part of a renovation. Now, the distance to the left field foul pole is 200 feet, not 251, and the screen will be 60 feet high, not 42.

Enjoy, Ken. Perhaps the Dodgers will repeat this in '09 to commemorate the '59 World Series champs against the White Sox.

A. Buck Short said...

Thanks so much, Ken: another reason to be envious. I remember the LA move like it was yesterday. On the other hand, now I can’t remember yesterday. When Snyder went home with the Dodgers to LA and the Giants relocated to SF, we lost two-thirds of our centerfield triumvirate Mays, Mantle, and Snider. As I recall, in exchange we co-opted Fess Parker – “Duvid, Duvid Crockett, king of Delancey Street” – that became one of the earliest of a long line of lame song parodies if there’s a God in heaven I will one day be able to shake.

Now, can Frank Caliendo work up an impression of “the old redhead?” And just a reminder, if they want to bring back the old coaching staff, Bobby Bragan’s still here heading up a youth league in Ft. Worth – and he’s only 90. Three years ago they brought him out to manage a game for the minor league Ft. Worth Cats – making that old ex-Dodger the oldest manager in the history of pro baseball – ahead of Connie Mack. Hearkening back to his playing antics, Bragan got himself ejected in the 3rd inning, undoubtedly also making him the oldest manager to be ejected from a professional baseball game. We just think he needed a more comfortable seat.

Here’s one slightly OT question maybe your comment crowd can help me with, are there any other teams that alliterate their lunchmeat, like Dodger Dogs and Fenway Franks? I can’t imagine Seattle has Washington Wieners?

tb said...

Wally Moon! With the bushy eyebrows. "Get your free 8 X 10 of Wally Moon with any fill-up at Union 76" Have fun Ken!

Ken's Damn Friend said...

[are there any other teams that alliterate their lunchmeat, like Dodger Dogs and Fenway Franks?]

Maybe not all are alliterations, but here's some really bad ideas:

Diamondback Dogs
Toronto Tubesteaks
Padre Pups
Brewer Bombs
Cincinnati Red Hots
Oakland A! Hot Dawg Here!
Angeloplasties

A. Buck Short said...

MARY STELLA, IT'S LIKE YOU HAVE TWIN! Look 2 comments north in yesterday's Nutrapalooza.

Jim said...

This is the Dodgers' 51st season in L.A., but it is indeed the 50th anniversary of their move West. (At the instant you get married, you're in your first year of marriage, but the 1st anniversary isn't for a year. Now add 50 to those figures.)

Ken's Damn Friend said...

...by the way, "Chavez Levine"?

You mean it's really pronounced "Chavez Ra-VINE"?

J.J. said...

Ahhhhh...Baseball before inter-league play, beforeCurt Flood and Marvin Miller, before Jim Bouton revealed that ballplayers cheated on their spouses, drank, and took something called "greenies" to enhance their playing performance. Those were the days.

Brent McKee said...

Webs is absolutely right about watching Expos games with Dave van Horne. An absolute pleasure (I'm feeling more than a bit nostalgic for my old Expos today for some reason). The book "The Boys of Summer" did Duke a disservice with the impression it created of his post-retirement life.

cpo snarky said...

I'm betting that, at 200 feet, Juan Pierre will still not be able to throw a runner out.

David J. Loehr said...

...by the way, "Chavez Levine"?

You mean it's really pronounced "Chavez Ra-VINE"?


I just assumed it was a relative we hadn't heard about yet...

Daddy Background said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daddy Background said...

Two Expos references in a week. (yes, I grew up listening to Duke Snider and Jim Van Horne too). Colour me Dodger Blue Monday.

I'm off to stick my head in the oven.

Who wants my two Claude Raymond cards? One's autographed....

AlaskaRay said...

Anyone else remember The Dodger Song by Danny Kay? I still remember all the words.

Ed said...

I just saw something of which I would never have conceived: the center fielder (Andruw Jones) tagged out a would-be BoSox base stealer. Retired 2-8 on an attempted stolen base!

I am loving this. Man.

What I wouldn't give to be back to my youthful heaven, Fenway Park, and to hear Sherm Feller, the longtime baritone, give the standard admonishment to the fan at the end of the first inning to not touch balls in play..."Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. The Boston Red Sox remind you..." Man.

VP81955 said...

I'll be at Nationals Park in D.C. on Sunday night for the Nats' first game at their new, fan-friendly home (you can catch it on ESPN). I'm so excited, I won't even boo Bush when he throws out the first ball.

DrBear said...

I'm reminded of Roger Angell writing when the Polo Grounds shut down about how it was like your old apartment, your first one after you get married, which was in a loud neighborhood, and how it's nice to have the extra room and the nice schools for the kids and everything is newer and quieter, but sometimes you look back and you were happier in those days.

cpo snarky said...

To alaskaray:

"Miller falls, drops the ball, Conlin calls safe!"

And hey - hoy 'bout them shuttle lines last night?

Mike McCann said...

Note to Ken's Damn Friend and the rest of the Regulars...

PHILLIES FRANKS. Even blander than Dodger dogs. They can't hold a candle to the Nathans franks that the Yankees sell.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I don't recall what, if anything, they call the hot dogs at Safeco Field, but in the old Seattle Kingdome they were Kingdogs. The large ones were, anyway.

Sorry, Ken, but boo-hiss Dodgers. I don't want to dis them, but as a Brooklyn-born kid I have no alternative.

hennell said...

Ken, I never understand your baseball posts but think you might enjoy this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrrx5CgdZaA

:D

Anonymous said...

What? No interview with Wally Moon?

Did you check to see if Wally still has the "unibrow"?