Newly arrived Angeleno Neal Pollack writes today at Slate about what happens to your life when you move to your favorite team's hometown. The author had been a long-distance Dodgers fan until relocating to L.A. in January. Recently he got a call from a friend offering four box seats behind the home dugout. He had plans that night; they were broken.
Anyone who's ever taken two 3-year-olds to a baseball game will agree that it's hardly the ideal circumstance. I ended up, as I knew I would, spending the fifth and sixth innings with the kids running around the concession area, roaring, while I pretended to be a bear. But come on! Who cares? It's the Dodgers!
The Dodgers were my team growing up in suburban Phoenix. Those years, 1977 to 1988, were comfortable ones in Dodgerland. We almost always fielded a winning team, went to the playoffs more often than not, and enjoyed Fernandomania. I'd just headed off to college when Kirk Gibson hit his miracle shot to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. That homer felt like the ultimate return on a long boyhood of bleeding blue.
In addition to the occasional bonus tickets from my friend, I split a 25-game package with a paralegal named Craig who I met on the Dodger Thoughts bulletin board. My seats are in the infield reserve, pretty high up, but they're Section 1, right on home plate, the best that a regular guy can afford more than twice a year.
A few days before the game, I'll contact one lucky friend, telling him or her that I'll cover the ticket and parking if they pay for refreshments. Also, they have to drive, because I like to get stoned before the game. I tell them that they need to pick me up at least 45 minutes before the opening pitch, because unlike many Dodger fans, I refuse to arrive late. And I never miss anything, because I rented my house based on its proximity to Dodger Stadium. It's a 10-minute straight shot down the 2, the breeziest freeway in town.
Pollack writes that he has tickets to tonight's game but won't go stoned because he is taking his son, Elijah. Pollack blogs, mostly about Ejijah, at The Maelstrom. His memoir, Alternadad, will be published in January.