Opening Day at Dodger Stadium

 
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What is Opening Day for baseball fans? Like the first day of spring, it’s a new beginning—the beginning of baseball season where fans across the nation sport jerseys, shirts, hats, pins, and more adorned with their favorite team logos and player names to show their support. It’s an exciting day for baseball fans everywhere and social media has made it easier to share this excitement with friends and family near and far.

This year’s opening day, Wednesday, March 28th, 2019 was not a typical one for my family. My youngest was at outdoor education and my oldest was dressed in his school uniform, ready for classes. I wished my oldest Happy Opening Day and he laughed, even though he was disappointed that his team was not in town. Before leaving, after asking what seemed like a million times already, he asked one last time if he could skip school and go with me to Dodger Stadium.

As a baseball fan, I understood how badly he wanted to go, but as a parent I couldn’t let him skip school, especially since I was scheduled to speak at his school. Now, while I believe in self-expression, I also support school rules. So, I chose to wear normal, boring clothes instead of my Dodger Blue as to not distract the kids. I felt very proud to speak at my son’s school because I hope to inspire these kids to challenge themselves and do more. To me, doing more means to remove the limits you set for yourself and chase your dreams! I tell this often to my boys and this blog is helping me chase my dreams!

I explained to my son that he did have to go to school and reminded him that we had tickets for the Angels home opener and reassured him that it would be just as exciting. It was the right thing to do, but I still felt bad because I knew this day was going to be an adventure! When is parenting ever easy?

After my speaking gig at the school, I set off to Olvera Street in Los Angeles. I haven’t been there in ages and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I quickly found public parking near Union Station and starting walking to meet my friends who were waiting at El Rancho Grande. As I started walking, I merged into a sea of Dodger Blue taking over that part of the city. A huge smile covered my face—everywhere I turned there were Dodger fans and I was overwhelmed to be a part of such unity.

Since Dodger Stadium isn’t centrally located in the city like Wrigley or Fenway, I’ve often felt that Dodger fans miss out on some of the camaraderie other cities enjoy. But not today.

I found my friends at the restaurant and enjoyed a combination of spirited conversation and great food. Trust me, the food at El Rancho Grande is completely worth the long line and wait time. I had a fabulous time and wished I could have shared the experience with my boys.

After lunch my friends and I headed to Union Station to grab the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle bus. The line was long but the wait was only about 20 minutes, after which we were aboard the shuttle and on our way to the stadium.

We arrived at the center field gates in time to hear the national anthem and watch the military plane fly overhead. It was a sea of blue and white and I was excited to be part of it. I couldn’t be more grateful to return to a place I love and for baseball season to begin.

What an exciting Opening Day game! From the first inning to the last I was jumping out of my seat and high-fiving anyone and everyone within my reach. The game was so action-packed that I felt sorry for those fans who chose to walk around the stadium, grab food, or use the restroom—I’m sure they missed out on something. Dodgers Opening Day 2019 was one for the record books. The Dodgers had an amazing win against the Diamondbacks with a score of 12 to 5 and an MLB record of 8 home runs during an opening day game. It was a spectacular day to be a Dodger Fan at Dodgers Stadium!

Unfortunately, heading home was anticlimactic. The Dodger Stadium Express was anything but express. It took 90 minutes to travel about two miles from the stadium to Union Station. Walking would have been a better option (quicker and healthier). Lesson learned. Next time, I’ll just park at the stadium.

I’m not usually a fan of day games but, shuttle frustrations aside, between the pre-game stops with my friends and the exhilarating game, this was a memorable adventure that has solidified my resolve to always make time for an Opening Day game!

- LISA

 
Lisa Serrano