Take Us Back to the Old Ballgame … Please!


On May 2 yet another chapter began for our beloved Los Angeles Dodgers when the Guggenheim owners officially took the reins of the historic ballclub from Frank McCourt. Mark Walter, Stan Kasten, and Magic Johnson are now the new managerial faces of the Dodgers ball club. Even though McCourt made a bloody killing on the deal maybe we can all get back to playing baseball again without the odious drama.

We have already had a bit of good news from the new owners in that they will be dropping the price of parking at Dodger Stadium from $15 to $10. Good start, now how about rolling back ticket prices to a level that most families could afford?

My brother mentioned that the new owners were very interested in getting feedback from the fans on how they might try to improve things going forward. This is good to hear in the wake of last year’s attempted murder of a man at the stadium by gangster types who just about beat him to death in the parking lot. That man will never be normal again. As you can imagine, that single event brought attendance down to all time lows. Then the ongoing spectacle, Divorce McCourt didn’t help things much either.

The fact that the organization is asking for suggestions from their fans is encouraging to me that maybe, just maybe, Dodger Stadium will make an attempt to get back to being a delightful place to take the family on a summer afternoon or evening once again without fear of getting hassled by thugs or hearing F-bombs being shouted out all around your young kids.

My brother sent his letter. I sent mine, which I have reprinted below. If you would like to let the Dodgers know how they might improve things, their e-mail address is: fanbox@ladodgers.com.

Dear Los Angeles Dodgers,

As a life-long Dodger fan I’d like to add my voice to the many people, columnists, broadcasters, and concerned citizens alike who have commented on the vicious beating of a man last year at Dodger Stadium by gangbanger types. This horrible event has led to families and other peace-loving fans to stay away from the ballpark in droves.

Things really need to change at Dodger Stadium; and it’s not about the beer, it’s the whole experience. As far as I’m concerned, the culture at the stadium has been growing worse year by year … now it is downright dangerous. What used to be a peaceful day or evening at the ballpark in times past, has become an assault to the senses that has little to do with baseball and more in keeping with a rave party with its loud thumping noise, flashing graphics, and kiss cam-dance cam nonsense which encourages the people in the stands to “act up.”

Last year’s television ads for the game were designed in dark, angry, gang-like style with shots of players glaring out directly into the camera in a challenging, menacing way. Clearly created to appeal to the gang mentality. That’s not what baseball is all about.

When I go to a ball game I don’t want loud, thumping hip-hop noise blaring throughout the field while electronic strobe images are flashed around the stands. I want to see a baseball game, not experience a rock concert light show. All that is distracting and takes away the baseball experience. Dodger Stadium is a lovely, peaceful place to see a ball game, but not with all that going on.

Until things improve, until Dodger Stadium goes back to that beautiful relaxing place on the hill that it once was, my family has decided to watch games in the comfort and the safety of our own home. We don’t need the crazy lights and pounding music and scary punks shouting vulgarities all around us. Vin Scully is the only voice I want to hear during the game.

I write a weekly column for The Tolucan Times community newspaper in Toluca Lake. My column also goes out to various web sites on the internet. I would love to be able to tell my readers one day that Dodger Stadium is back in all its wonderful family-friendly glory. It would make a tremendous difference to this city and to our family knowing that once again we can take the kids to a ball game and actually sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.

Greg Crosby

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