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A plan for Dodger Stadium

November 14, 2008 |  6:27 am


Dodger_stadium_1962_0411_paste
Photograph by Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times

Dodger Stadium under construction in a photo published April 22, 1961. (No, this image hasn't been Photoshopped. It's a large print so I had to scan it in two pieces and paste it together--lrh).

By Keith Thursby

Dodger_stadium_1958_1211_crop
Photograph by Ray Graham / Los Angeles Times
Project manager Ted Little stands at the edge of the bowl being excavated in Chavez Ravine, Dec. 11, 1958,
Turns out the Dodgers considered some Space Age concepts when building Dodger Stadium. Anyone for a ride on the Dodger monorail up to the ballpark? George Jetson would have been right at home.

Dick Walsh, a former Angels general manager who was director of stadium operations for the Dodgers during the stadium's construction, has a revealing interview with Robert Schweppe on walteromalley.com that includes details about what might have been.

How wild were some of the ideas? Several involved transportation--along with the monorail the Dodgers considered a bridge overpass and a stadium tram. And don't forget the drive-in ticket window.

Inside the ballpark, they considered placing advertising on the outfield fences and infrared heating for seats on the field level. According to Walsh, outfield ads were rejected because Walter O'Malley decided, "We're going to keep the stadium pure."

Putting some seats on rollers to accommodate football was another idea. Walsh told Schweppe that Rams owner Dan Reeves "had talked to us about having his football club play in the stadium. Big discussions about that went on. Walter's position was that 'it was a baseball stadium. I'm not going to do that.' "

How about a series of Dodger monuments similar to the tributes in Yankee Stadium? Location and visibility problems made that difficult, Walsh said.

It's fun to think of the possibilities, but one of Dodger Stadium's best assets has been its simplicity. I'm showing my age here, but I've never been a fan of ballparks that bombard you with everything but the ballgame. But I sure would have liked that monorail.

Here's a link to the story. http://www.walteromalley.com/feat_walsh_index.php


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