Baseball 1 - Economy 0
Story & Photos: Harry Rabin
It’s 5am here in Santa Barbara as we rub our eyes feverishly to wake up and get on the road. Today is truly a special day. Today I won’t be surfing the Internet frantically checking the stock market, what's left in my 401k, College funds & Schwab account. I won’t be overly concerned with my re-fi hanging by a tumultuous thread for approval and I won’t be thinking about the general state of the economy, the price of gas, global warming… blah blah blah!
Instead with a press pass in hand and family in tow we’re headed out the door at the crack of dawn. Perhaps to re-live some of my youth but more importantly to watch, listen and share in the anticipated excitement about to unfold in my nine year old son’s life. My expectation for his journey is that today he will experience something he will never forget. What’s that your saying? You wanna come too? Where are we headed? Come on along!
It’s now 6am and we’re on our way to partake in some good old home spun deep rooted American tradition! That’s right we’re headed to Dodger Stadium and it’s not just the good ole “Take me out to the Ballgame, Peanuts and Cracker Jack!” Nope, we're off to ROOT ROOT ROOT for our kids!
The Dodgers organization for the first time ever will be hosting Jr. Dodgers Training Day! My son Drake along with over ninety 8-12 year olds will be immersed in a 160 year old American sports tradition. The event will be dished out in a large scoop of excitement topped off with comradery! These kids will be outfitted with official Jerseys and caps, trained by the pro’s and sharing the field with some of baseball’s current and past Baseball coaches and players !
No one really noticed the drive from Santa Barbara to Elysian Park. For an entire day the world was about to become a perfect place and worry free! My son Drake anxiously awaited without any idea of the days events that were about to unfold before him.
It’s 8:40am and the gates are now moving. The cars lined up carrying precious cargo, our children ready to partake in something I could only have dreamed of while growing up in Los Angeles during the turbulent 60’s. A time of baseball legends like Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Ron Fairly and the likes. . Dodger Stadium has opened it’s doors in a bigger way then I ever imagined!
The event is well organized, well staffed. There are over 8 training stations setup on Dodger Field ranging from Catching, Pitching, Hitting, Running and more. As we begin to head across the field we take a turn into the Dodger’s dugout and down we go past the “PLAYERS ONLY” warnings down into the heart of Dodger Stadium! Past the Dodgers locker room with it’s Jerseys and names and numbers on hangers at each station, through the training room we go. And as I take this journey snapping photos all the way I begin to feel like a kid walking in the footsteps of some of Baseballs greatest, players and coaches! I see the look on these Jr. Dodgers faces feeling their excitement. awash in their enthusiasm, I’m one of them!
It’s 1:45pm and the day is wrapping up, we’ve been at it since 9am. The Dodger field staff is prepping the field for tonight’s game, the first place Dodgers vs the Mariners. We are all gathered together in Centerfield and someone is heading towards the group of tuckered out but still over enthused kids…It’s, no it can’t be… It’s Orlando Hudson, the Dodger’s 2nd baseman. He excitedly addresses all the Jr. Dodgers and his candor and humor have topped off the day like the grand finale of the 4th of July fireworks! These kids are CHARGED!!
This is one experience that should not be overlooked because while it’s here and available today it may like other opportunities these days be gone tomorrow. Take a break from the same old song we’ve all been singing this year and go charge your batteries with your kids if you can. I highly recommend it!
Hey maybe the Lakers should…
Contributors: Emily Meyer, Amy Summers, Jon Soohoo (Official Dodgers Photographer)
-L.A. Dodgers Organization
You can check out all Jr. Dodgers events on the Dodgers website at: