LAhistory

Today is the official start of Dodger baseball! In honor, here’s a couple of vintage Dodger photos, including this one of Sandy Koufax taken almost 50 years ago (April 2, 1963). The other features Dodger Stadium during the 1965 World Series. Today’s pregame ceremony celebrates the 50th and 25th anniversaries of the club’s 1963 and 1988 World Series championships.

The $100 million upgrade to Dodger Stadium has several musing on the past, present and future of Chávez Ravine. In Los Angeles Review of Books, Sam Lubell writes that approaching Dodger Stadium “feels a bit like stepping back in time, back to a very specific midcentury Los Angeles when technology was the answer, when the future could bring anything, and when optimism wasn’t optional.”

Los Angeles Times architectural critic Christopher Hawthorne details the efforts to transform Dodger Stadium from a privatized space into a more public one. Hawthorne notes, “The team has now spent nearly a decade longer in Chavez Ravine than it did in Ebbets Field.”

While we’re always excited for another season of Dodger baseball, our excitement is informed with the memory of the Chávez Ravine’s painful past, as illustrated with Ry Cooder’s song “3rd Base, Dodger Stadium," off his Chávez Ravine album:

Mister, you’re a baseball man, as anyone can plainly see.
The straightest game in this great land. Take a little tip from me.
I work here nights, parking cars, underneath the moon and stars.
The same ones that we all knew back in 1952.
And if you want to know where a local boy like me is coming from:
3rd base, Dodger Stadium.

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