Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hollywood Stars night

Yesterday was the big annual Hollywood Stars Night at Dodger Stadium. This is a tradition that dates back to the late 50’s when the Dodgers had just arrived from Brooklyn and were playing in the cavernous Coliseum that seated 100,000 people. Back then, for the price of admission (which was probably $3.00 for the best seat in the house), prior to the Dodger game you could see an exhibition contest that featured Cary Grant, Jack Lemon, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Jerry Lewis, Walter Matthau, Jackie Gleason (not much range in right field), Danny Kaye, Nat King Cole, and then there was the second tier that only starred in major television hits. (Oh, and Billy Barty)

I remember going one year and Dean Martin was announced as the hitter. A limo pulled onto the field and drove up to home plate. Dino got out, dug in at the plate, called time, and signaled the car. A scantily clad cocktail waitress emerged with a martini on a silver tray. She brought it up to the plate, Dean took a sip, thanked her, and took his swings. Forget the bases, the batter was loaded!

The event was the brainchild of then Dodger marketing wizard, Danny Goodman. Vin Scully told me that when Danny proposed this idea to club owner, Walter O. Malley, Walter said, “Yeah, but will you be able to get stars?” Danny replied, “Are you kidding? I’ll get you stars you’ve never heard of!”

Among this years Hollywood “Stars” – Mia Hamm, James Van Der Beek, Michael Clark Duncan, and Corbin Berson.


Anonymous said...

Um, who?

Stephen Gallagher said...

Hey, I've heard of one of them. Somewhere.

Anonymous said...

The Beak - he doesn't want to wait of the inning to be over, he wants his hotdog now, what will it be?

Yes I'm ashamed to know the DC theme song.

Anonymous said...

Sign of the times.... many of the Dodgers are higher-profile celebrities than the "stars" brought in for the occasion.

Maybe next year, the club can invite all your local TV weathermen. Everyone recognizes them.

Anonymous said...

Should I be worried that I've heard of all of them...?

Vince said...

Too bad those festivities weren't televised along with the game. Considering the Dodgers' lopsided win over Pittsburgh, the celebrities were probably more competitive.

Of course, I'd watch any game called by Vin Scully. How can he be so much more entertaining and informative all by his lonesome than the tag teams of announcers and ex-players in other teams' booths? He's amazing.

Anonymous said...

Corbin Bernsen. The thinking man's Jack Lemmon.