Thursday, September 22, 2011

Once In A Lifetime - Dodgers Batting Practice On The Field

Last week, I mentioned that I won a Dodgers #SocialSept Twitter Contest. I was so anxious to get the opportunity to be on the field during batting practice since I've never done anything like this before. I was allowed to take one person with me. I chose my dad since he took me to my first Dodger game and he's the reason I fell in love with the team. He taught me everything I know about the Dodgers.

View from Club Level
We arrived to Dodger Stadium at 4:10 pm and walked into the Club Level. While waiting to be taken down to the field, some how a baseball made it's way up to where we were standing and my dad grabbed it. I used it later for an autograph. Clayton Kershaw hit a home run off the right field foul pole on his last swing.

Adam Chodzko, from the Dodgers Public Relations department, gathered the group of twitter winners and made our way down to the field. As we were walking through the Club Level, there was a lot of memorabilia displayed throughout the walkway.

We got down to the field at about 4:30 pm. Juan Rivera and Jerry Sands were putting on a show when we first arrived. Then some of the players started to come over to meet with us. It also helped that Rod Barajas' cousin was in our group so he brought some players over. Davey Lopes and Trey Hillman were hitting ground balls to the infielders while the pitching staff were in the outfield shagging balls. Manny Mota, Don Mattingly and Dave Hansen were chatting behind the batting cage.

Dee Gordon
Trent Oeljten
Jerry Sands
Jerry Sands & Aaron Miles
Juan Rivera
Davey Lopes
Manny Mota
Matt Kemp
About a half hour later, the San Francisco Giants started to make their way on the field. They were stretching and chatting with some of the Dodger players. I figured that it would be a good opportunity to see if any of them would sign autographs even though I was in my Dodger gear.

Aubrey Huff

Pablo Sandoval
Emmanuel Burriss & Maury Wills
It's time to show off my autographs which is what people like to see. I'll start with the Dodgers. Jerry Sands came over when we first arrived to the field but I wasn't able to get his autograph since I was still in shock that I was on the field watching my Dodgers.

Maury Wills

My first success was Maury Wills, who played for the Dodgers during 1959-66 and 1969-1972. He was really nice and even asked where I wanted him to sign it. I gave him the ball that my dad grabbed earlier in the day from the Club Level. He signed it on the sweet spot and inscribed "LA Dodgers" just in case I got any of the Giants players to sign my ball. He took pictures and was chatting with everyone.

Crescenta Valley Little League (CVLL) was also on the field during the batting practice. After Maury Wills finished signing for the kids, Dee Gordon and James Loney came over to sign. James Loney only signed for a few kids before heading back to the clubhouse. Dee stayed and signed for everyone. I was able to get him on another ball that I brought. I wasn't able to get it on the sweet spot but I finally got to meet Dee.

Matt Kemp

Clayton Kershaw

My favorite success of the day had to be Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. Both players are having phenomenal seasons and hopefully are awarded at the end of the season. Since the Dodgers struggled all season until September, it's going to be hard for Matt Kemp to win the award since the media is in love with Ryan Braun. Clayton Kershaw won his 20th game on Tuesday and should be the current leader for the Cy Young award. He leads the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. My goal was to get both of them on the same ball.

Pablo Sandoval
Cody Ross

Carlos Beltran

Orlando Cabrera

The Giants took over the field at around 5:15pm and the Dodgers went back into the clubhouse. While the Dodgers were finishing up, some of the Giants players were talking with one another and I called them over to see if they would sign my last baseball. I was able to get Pablo Sandoval, Carlos Beltran, Cody Ross, and Orlando Cabrera. I called over Brandon Belt but he said no because he was about to hit in the cage.

We walked off the field at 5:30 pm and took our seats which were in field level. On our way to our seats Don Newcombe and Andre Ethier were in the Dugout Club talking with others.

Don Newcombe
Andre Ethier & Maury Wills

The Dodgers lost the game 8-5 but Matt Kemp did hit a 3-run home run. He joined the 35-35 club last night!

I want to thank the Dodgers and a special thanks to Adam for the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field.

I can now check it off my sports bucket list.


  1. That's so awesome man. I'm glad the Giants were cool and took pics/signed autos too. That's what I love about baseball players, most of them seem like down to Earth good ol' guys.

  2. Holy shit! Wow....I am jealous.

    What a great experience. You can tell the grandkids about it one day!

  3. @Trey Yeah, they were all really nice. I wish I could have met more Dodgers though.

    @dodgersbobble For sure! It was awesome.