Dodger Stadium:A Sacred Space

“I don’t see it. I don’t…There it..there it is turn left turn left turn left right there where it says “Vin Scully Avenue.” VIN SCULLY AVENUE? My heart was pounding. My head was spinning. Two airplanes, two time zones, 2,661.7 miles from Baltimore and finally, we had arrived.

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It sat like a deserted shrine at this time of day, save a few workers conversing in Spanish, quietly tending to the field and painting white stripes on the mound. “Do not step on the grass!” the tour guide implored. For a moment I was tempted to reach down and secretly pick a small handful to keep as a memento, to reassure myself that I was in fact not dreaming, to reap some kind of blessing from its beauty and perfection, but decided not to.

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Here it was in all of its pristine splendor, silently waiting to be graced by the agile feet of the most elite players of the game. To be surrounded by the throngs of worshippers in the stands.

It was the Fourth of July and who better to tell the Baltimore-based story of the National Anthem than that preacher of baseball, Vin Scully himself:

Yasiel Puig entered the area near the on-deck circle. I watched him closely and intently. He kneeled and made the sign of the cross with a small necklace, hanging his head. I thought of his journey as a Cuban defector just trying to make it to the United States to play baseball; police pulling over his car, a boat that failed to arrive, police raiding his safe house and detaining him for six days, being intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard then taken to Mexico by a murderous drug cartel and being sold to a wealthy Floridian who would receive a percent of his future MLB earnings. He stood and made a large cross in the dirt with his bat. His cleats bearing the American flag made all the more poignant by his story.

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Being so far from home, I was overjoyed by the sight of my personal guru, the sage, the teacher, the all-knowing Zen master:

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And look! – One of our saints!Β (at least to Baltimore fans!)IMG_2409.JPG

Like religious spaces, our nation’s ballparks provide the sacred spaces we need to transcend and temporarily escape the ugly realities of our world. There are all kinds of people here. Black, white, asian, latino, male, female, young and old. In this holy space we are all the same. Baseball fans.

The only wall we care about is just beyond the outfield.

12 thoughts on “Dodger Stadium:A Sacred Space

  1. Celena McDonnell September 4, 2016 / 5:25 am

    Hi, Maria. I really like your posts, I don’t have much experience with baseball, except that my dad is a fan and tried out for the Phoenix Cardinals back in the 70’s….;), but you really make it come alive for me. I also appreciated your comment at the end about “wall” worries and that you celebrate the diversity of the game. I originally found your blog because of your “Love letter to Alicia Abbadessa”, I had been looking around because she is quite famous here now….my kids go to school with Jude and Ryan. Although I don’t know the families myself. Everyone is just ecstatic about the victory. Thank you for checking out my blog, and for your kind words! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • She Talks Baseball September 8, 2016 / 12:35 am

      Hi Celena! That’s what is so fun about blogging! You found me – and I got to find you! I really, really love your writing and I will look forward to reading more. As I mentioned I am from that area and I appreciate how much it must mean to everyone. Glad you found me and glad I found you! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. scontursi July 15, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    Ah, you found it. A baseball shrine as you called it. Been there once. Got the same feeling. Although I must say that ballpark is old and needs some remodeling. Very narrow concourses as I recall and old style urinals. Anyway, enjoyed your piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Baseball Bloggess July 13, 2016 / 10:58 am

    Sounds like a great time … it certainly worked out pretty well for the O’s! Yay! I’m glad you had such a wonderful trip to LA. Dodger Stadium is, indeed, a special place … even though there are still people of a “certain age” who still think the only sacred stadium for the Dodgers is Ebbets Field. I agree with you, though. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Minoring In Baseball July 13, 2016 / 1:25 am

    That’s awesome! Dodger Stadium is still on my bucket list for sure. That view of the field is simply amazing. Hope you got to go to Disney or Universal Studios while you were out there, too. Sounds like a fun trip.
    -Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    • She Talks Baseball July 15, 2016 / 12:42 am

      Thanks Mike! It was truly an epic experience! We saw it all – wanted to make the most of the time out there – we even slipped down to Anaheim to check out the Angels stadium. Unfortunately, they were actually in Baltimore!

      Liked by 1 person

    • She Talks Baseball July 15, 2016 / 12:43 am

      Awesome that you have been there. I see from your blog that you enjoy good ballpark food. Have to say that as much as I loved Dodger Stadium…I wasn’t into the garlic fries. (they need the crab dip waffle fries like we have in Balty-more!)

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  5. T. Wayne July 12, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    So much that is great about this post. Starting with your description of one of the hallowed shrines of the game, Dodger Stadium. The Vin Scully video – baseball is going to miss him terribly. Finally, your closing is so true – I was at Camden Yards on Friday and like you say, we were all united as baseball fans. Too bad the O’s were doomed that night by another bad Ubaldo outing.

    One question: did the Oriole fans do the “O” during the anthem? I couldn’t really tell from the video.

    Like

    • She Talks Baseball July 13, 2016 / 12:06 am

      Thanks so much T!!! The crowds at Camden Yards looked amazing this weekend – glad to hear you got to enjoy it (despite that Ubaldo thing which you and I have been talking about for what? a year or more πŸ™‚ Believe it or not – there were tons of O’s fans in LA and I was amazed at how loud they yelled “O!” πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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