CLOSE
Original image

The Quick 10: Dodger Stadium

Original image

I've recently decided that I need to see a game at every baseball stadium in the MLB. So far I've been to Yankee Stadium (the old one), the Metrodome, Wrigley, Citizens Bank Park, Miller Park and as of last week, Dodger Stadium. Wrigley's my favorite and I don't think any park is probably going to top it, but Dodgertown definitely has a gorgeous backdrop. Read on for 10 other facts about Dodger Stadium, and let me know in the comments what your favorite ballpark is. Who knows which one I might hit up next! As of right now it's U.S. Cellular Field (the White Sox) in August, but I tend to pick up and go on random long weekends, so your comment could influence me.

panorama

1. Since the demolition of Yankee and Shea Stadiums, Dodger Stadium is now the third oldest ballpark, ranking well behind Wrigley (1916) and Fenway (1912).

2. Dodger Stadium sits in Chavez Ravine, but it didn't get there without a fight. Although the residents of Chavez Ravine were compensated for the values of their land and their homes, some of them were not willing to leave. Things got so bad that the sheriff's department had to go in with a bulldozer and armed guards. The last hold out finally sold for $10,500 (it was the "˜50s) and construction on Dodger Stadium began. The actual ravine was filled in with dirt to create level ground for the stadium and parking lots.

3. Dodger Stadium and the area surrounding it (Dodgertown) will soon be getting its own zip code "“ the L.A. City Council unanimously voted to give it one last year.

4. Dodger Stadium is the only stadium in the whole National League with a symmetrical outfield. And it's one of just four in the MLB. The measurements: left field and right field are 330 feet, medium left-center and medium right-center are 360 feet, true left-center and true right-center are 375 feet, and center field is 400 feet. The 400 feet isn't marked, though "“ you'll just see "395" signs on either side of the dead center mark.

hills5. Hits that might have been home runs during the day don't quite make it all the way in the evenings. Because of the nearby ocean, the air cools really fast at night which results in very dense air. So instead of cutting through the air and flying right out of the park like they might have in the daytime, balls that look like they should have been outta there often die short of the mark in the evenings.
6. Pope John Paul II held mass at Dodger Stadium in 1987.

sign7. A rainout at Dodger Stadium? Don't count on it. Prior to 1976, the only rainout the Dodgers ever had was on April 21, 1967 against the Cardinals. The second time they were rained out, on April 12, 1976, ended a 724-game streak of no rain. And the amazing streak was topped in the late 80s and most of the 90s "“ from April 21, 1988, to April 11, 1999, no home game at Dodger Stadium was rained out. At 856 consecutive games, that's a major league record that still stands today.
8. Since it's L.A., you might surmise that the stadium has showed up in a movie or two, and you would be correct. If you've seen the Star Trek that just came out, look closely at the ice planet of Delta Vega "“ it's a Dodgertown parking lot. In The Fast and the Furious, Paul Walker has a scene where he works on his racing techniques. It was filmed at the stadium. The stadium was the victim of a bit of destruction in Transformers when an Autobot's protoform smashes through the upper deck, and apparently there was also a scene from the second Fantastic Four movie shot at Dodger Stadium (haven't seen that one so I can't vouch for it "“ anyone know?).

9. You probably already know that the numbers belonging to Jackie Robinson, Tommy Lasorda, Pee Wee Reese and Sandy Koufax are retired from the Dodgers (and Jackie's is retired from the whole league). But the other retired numbers are those of Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Duke Snider, Walter Alston, Roy Campanella and Jim Gilliam. The numbers can be found mounted under the roofs behind the outfield fence.

blu10. The Dodgers have very loyal fans and were the first team to get more than three million fans to games in the span of a single season. In fact, they did this six times before any other team did it once. OK, maybe that has something to do with the fact that the stadium can hold between 56,000 and 85,000 people in one game, but I'm sure fans prefer to think it's because they are so dedicated to the team.

And a bonus fact for you: Dodger Stadium sells the most hot dogs of all MLB parks. As of 2005, they were selling 1,674,400 Dodger dogs every year, topping the runner up, Coors Field (home of the Rockies), by more than a hundred thousand franks. My opinion: Dodger Dogs are no different than any other hot dog. I was more impressed with the garlic fries. Also, I'm pretty sure this is the saddest picture of a hot dog I have ever seen.

Hope you all enjoyed L.A. week at the Quick 10 as much as I enjoyed my trip! We'll be back to our regularly scheduled Q10 (i.e.: totally random) next week. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send me a Tweet or leave a comment.

arrow
Space
Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

Original image
Lucy Quintanilla/iStock
arrow
travel
6 East Coast Castles to Visit for a Fairy Tale Road Trip
Original image
Lucy Quintanilla/iStock

Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.

STOP 1: BANNERMAN CASTLE // BEACON, NEW YORK

59 miles from New York City

The crumbling exterior of Bannerman Castle
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.

STOP 2. GILLETTE CASTLE STATE PARK // EAST HADDAM, CONNECTICUT

116 miles from Beacon, New York

William Gillette was an actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, which may have something to do with where he got the idea to install a series of hidden mirrors in his castle, using them to watch guests coming and going. The unusual-looking stone structure was built starting in 1914 on a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. Gillette designed many of the castle’s interior features (which feature a secret room), and also installed a railroad on the property so he could take his guests for rides. When he died in 1937 without designating any heirs, his will forbade the possession of his home by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The castle is now managed by the State of Connecticut as Gillette Castle State Park.

STOP 3. BELCOURT CASTLE // NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut

The exterior of Belcourt castle
Jenna Rose Robbins, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Prominent architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Belcourt Castle for congressman and socialite Oliver Belmont in 1891. Hunt was known for his ornate style, having designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, but Belmont had some unusual requests. He was less interested in a building that would entertain people and more in one that would allow him to spend time with his horses—the entire first floor was designed around a carriage room and stables. Despite its grand scale, there was only one bedroom. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million today. But around the time it was finished, Belmont was hospitalized following a mugging. It took an entire year before he saw his completed mansion.

STOP 4. HAMMOND CASTLE MUSEUM // GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island

Part of the exterior of Hammond castle
Robert Linsdell, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 as both his home and a showcase for his historical artifacts. But Hammond was not only interested in recreating visions of the past; he also helped shape the future. The castle was home to the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Hammond produced over 400 patents and came up with the ideas for over 800 inventions, including remote control via radio waves—which earned him the title "the Father of Remote Control." Visitors can take a self-guided tour of many of the castle’s rooms, including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, guest bedrooms, inventions exhibit room, library, and kitchens.

STOP 5. BOLDT CASTLE // ALEXANDRIA BAY, THOUSAND ISLANDS, NEW YORK

430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts

It's a long drive from Gloucester and only accessible by water, but it's worth it. The German-style castle on Heart Island was built in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt, who created the extravagant structure as a summer dream home for his wife Louise. Sadly, she passed away just months before the place was completed. The heartbroken Boldt stopped construction, leaving the property empty for over 70 years. It's now in the midst of an extensive renovation, but the ballroom, library, and several bedrooms have been recreated, and the gardens feature thousands of plants.

STOP 6. FONTHILL CASTLE // DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York

Part of the exterior of Fonthill castle

In the mood for more castles? Head south to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Fonthill Castle was the home of the early 20th century American archeologist, anthropologist, and antiquarian Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was a man of many interests, including paleontology, tile-making, and architecture, and his interest in the latter led him to design Fonthill Castle as a place to display his colorful tile and print collection. The inspired home is notable for its Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and with 44 rooms, there's plenty of well-decorated nooks and crannies to explore.

SECTIONS

More from mental floss studios