The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Dodger parking

By Keith Thursby
Times Staff Writer

1958_0304_buick_2The Dodgers’ one-night return to the Coliseum has the team wrestling with a familiar problem—parking.

The Dodgers are offering round-trip shuttles from the Dodger Stadium parking lot to the Coliseum for their March 29 exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox. That wasn’t an option in 1958 before the Dodgers’ first game in Los Angeles.

The Times reported on April 8 about a press conference involving local police and transportation officials who cautioned baseball fans to take advantage of mass transit, which in 1958 meant buses. The officials warned that drivers would face traffic jams and increased neighborhood parking fees. There had been talk of local lawn and backyard lots charging up to $6 a car for certain games.

The officials said the Coliseum parking lot would continue to charge $1 a car.

Meanwhile, at least one high-ranking baseball official didn’t think much of the Dodgers’ decision to start their Los Angeles years in the Coliseum.

Phil Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs and referred to in an April 10 Associated Press story as the man who opened the West Coast to the Dodgers, said the Coliseum "just isn’t suited for baseball."

"When people go to a baseball game, they expect to see it played in a baseball park," said Wrigley, who sold his Pacific Coast League franchise in Los Angeles to Brooklyn.

Of course, Wrigley had an idea where they should have played—the cozier Wrigley Field.

That eventually became the first home of the Los Angeles Angels, who played there before sharing Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers until their own new stadium was built in Anaheim.

*Update: A reader notes that there were more options available than buses. What I was referring to was the press conference, in which the officials said buses should be the mode of transportation for mass transit. But point taken.

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Comments (3)

In 1958 Los Angeles, mass transit didn't just mean busses. There were still a few streetcar and interurban lines at that time. The red cars of the old Pacific Electric and the yellow cars of the old Los Angeles Transit Lines still operated some lines in the area under the oversight of Metropolitan Transportation Authority--the first MTA. The last of those lines ran in 1965.

The Hollywood Bowl does a perfect job of traffic management with buses scattered throughout the city, why Hasn't Frank Mccort adaopted this ?

Mark R., great point! I've ridden the Hollywood Bowl buses, which are clean and convenient. I'd gladly pay what the stadium charges for parking, to ride a bus from a remote location and not have to battle stadium parking. Plus, it'd keep that many cars off the small roads in the residential areas surrounding Dodger Stadium, and off the freeway ramps. Must be some kind of financial disincentive for not doing it.


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