Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Field Of Dreams. Field of Memories.

   If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you'll see a timeline filled with many car pictures. Mostly old Fords and Chevys with the occasional Plymouth and De Soto if I happened to get lucky at the car show. My friend, Rafael, noticed my love for cars and invited me to tour his workplace, Dodger Stadium. He knew there were a few vehicles bearing the Dodger logo I'd love to see and photograph.



This was a great opportunity for me and to think my photography got me through the door. Well, that and knowing the Director of Community Relations sure helped. There was no way I'd pass this up. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1980's was incredible. The Raiders had a Commitment to Excellence, our Lakers had Pat Riley and Showtime and the whole city had Fernandomania.

I took Rafael up on his offer on a Friday morning. Step out from office and you're right there in the game, along the third base line. Now, this was the off season and architects were present preparing the park for some much needed renovations. No game was being played but that doesn't matter. Dodger Stadium and the 352 acres the stadium sits on IS the field of dreams. Chavez Ravine is filled to the brim with memories both good and bad. Joy and Heartbreak. Wins and Losses. Maybe the renovation will make space for more memories...and Championship trophies?

 As we toured the stadium I couldn't help but drift off into a memory of my own. We came upon the batting cage area Kirk Gibson used before hitting the walk off Home Run in the 9th inning of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. I wasn't at the stadium that night. I was at home watching the game with my Grandpa Chino on a 13 inch T.V. in his bedroom. Kirk Gibson's HR shocked Oakland just like the Loma Prieta earthquake would the following year. The excitement traveled through the L.A. streets and the cheers he received reverberated through the hills of Elysian and Echo Parks. Grandpa Chino and I heard those cheers in stereo because we were just a mile away from the epicenter.

 I'd like to thank you, Rafael, for the amazing tour and experience. I've been to many Dodger games but to be able to walk the same halls as many of the greats that wore the uniform is something I never thought I'd do. I thank you for the new memories and for helping to bring back old ones.

 I bought a white jersey that day and am planning on adding my grandpa's last name to it. I'm proud to carry his blood in my veins. Catch me at a game next season representing the "Gonzalez" name on my back. 

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