Reverse flow

As many as 3,000-5,000 early-departing fans turned around and tried to re-enter Dodger Stadium when the home runs started flying in the ninth inning of Monday night's gem of a game, according to the team. Lon Rosenberg, vice president of Dodger Stadium operations, talked to ESPN.com's Mary Buckheit about making the call to let them back in.

Were you working for the Dodgers in 1988? Yes I was. I was here for Gibson's homer and I knew last night was something.

When did the brake lights start going on this time?
I think it was after two [home runs]. It was strange because we noticed people walking up the aisles and standing in the hallways and all of a sudden they all stopped and went back towards their seats. About the same time that folks in the stadium were changing their minds, I got a call over the radio from our parking supervisor telling me that cars were turning around and trying to come back into the parking lot and he was wondering what to do, if he should let them back in. While that was happening our command post called and said people who had walked out were running back to the gates wanting to come back into the game, what should we do?

So I said yes, go ahead and let 'em back in the ballpark, and let them back in the gates. They came in and jumped in the first seats they could find where they could see what was going on.

You didn't even think twice?
Nope. We just knew that this was too big. What was happening was a really big deal. It was too special, we had to let them back in. Normally, no re-entry, you've got to sign out if you step outside the door to smoke, but uh, you've got to make some decisions and exceptions sometimes.

Where you were stationed and with your walkie blowing up, did you get to see the action?

Yeah, you know, it's funny, since we're usually moving around the park you come to know the different roars. You know if it's a single or a double from the crowd, and of course when the strokes go off we'll know it's a home run, but the thing about last night was that the crowd never stopped yelling after the second home run. It was unbelievable, everybody was up on their feet yelling from that moment on.

It took a while to make the call, according to ticket-takers "Tony" and "Ringo":

You're standing next to these big doors that say No Re-Entry. Until you got word from your boss that you could let people back in, what was it like over here?

We couldn't let them in at first, then command post came over the walkie-talkies and told us we could let them back. Before that, they were just hovering around the doors, trying to see in. There were two home runs and we could see people kind of stop and wonder what should we do, should we go back? I think it was the third homer and then there were really a ton of people here at the doors but we couldn't let them back because I still don't think we got the call yet. They were begging us, "Please, please, c'mon!" More and more people coming back, pounding on the gates acting like madmen! Then we finally got the call to open the doors and it was great, everybody went charging in. I'd say 50-75 people came back in through this door alone. It was just crazy. Pandemonium. It was amazing. And when Nomar hit that last one everybody was just dancing and laughing.


September 20, 2006 10:50 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

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