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Dodgers, For Openers

April 02, 2002|Bob Rohwer

* Gates open: Parking lots, 10:40 a.m.; stadium turnstiles, 11:10 a.m.

* Ceremonial first pitch: Peter O'Malley, who succeeded his father, Walter, as Dodger president in 1970 and held the post until 1998. Peter's mother, Kate, threw out the first pitch 40 years ago before the season opener in 1962, the club's first year at Dodger Stadium. The Cincinnati Reds won that game, 6-3.

* National anthem: Patti LaBelle.

* Other ceremonies: The team will honor members of its 1962 squad, including hall of famer Duke Snider, Maury Wills, Tommy Davis and Johnny Podres. In 1962, Wills stole a then-record 104 bases, Davis led the National League with a .346 batting average and the Dodgers finished tied with the Giants atop the standings. However, the Dodgers lost a best-of-three playoff. A high school honor band made up of students from throughout Southern California also will perform. During the seventh-inning stretch, Erin Bradley, 3, of Vandenberg Air Force Base will sing "God Bless America."

* Military presence: The Elite Frogs parachute team will land on the field, and there will be a flyover by two F-14 Tomcat and two F-4 Phantom jets.

Los Angeles Times Saturday April 6, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 A2 Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Baseball--The date the Dodgers retired uniform numbers for the first time in franchise history was incorrect in a sports story on April 2. The numbers of Sandy Koufax (32), Roy Campanella (39) and Jackie Robinson (42) were retired on June 4, 1972.

* Something new: The outfield wall will feature the greatest moments in Dodger Stadium's 40-year history.

* Opening-day memories: Today's season-opening start will be Kevin Brown's third with the Dodgers, who are 24-20 in season openers since moving to Los Angeles. In Brown's first start for them, the Dodgers rallied for a dramatic, 11-inning 8-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1999 at Dodger Stadium.... The last time the Dodgers lost a home opener was in 1997, when Curt Schilling, then with the Philadelphia Phillies, beat them, 3-0.... Don't expect any help from last year's Dodger heroes in today's game. In a 1-0 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, Gary Sheffield (traded to the Atlanta Braves) homered in the sixth inning, starter Chan Ho Park (signed as a free agent by the Texas Rangers) went seven scoreless innings and Jeff Shaw (retired) pitched a perfect ninth for the save. It marked the Dodgers' fourth consecutive victory in a home opener.... In opening-day ceremonies in 1972, the Dodgers retired uniform numbers for the first time in franchise history: Sandy Koufax (32), Roy Campanella (39) and Jackie Robinson (42).... Koufax pitched only one season opener, in 1964, the year after the Dodgers swept the Yankees in the World Series and he won the first of his three Cy Young awards. Koufax beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-0, at Dodger Stadium.... Right-handers Don Drysdale and Don Sutton lead the team in opening-day starts with seven each.

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