The promise of a new ballpark persuaded O'Malley to move the team to Los Angeles before the 1958 season after his efforts to build in Brooklyn failed. The construction of Dodger Stadium didn't come without controversy. The land on which the stadium sits was purchased by the city using eminent domain and some residents of what used to be a Mexican American community were forced out of their homes.
6 Monday saves the flag
April 25, 1976
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, April 12, 2012 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 4 News Desk 1 inches; 48 words Type of Material: Correction
Rick Monday photo: In the April 9 Sports section, a 1976 photo of Chicago Cub Rick Monday saving the American flag from being burned by protesters at Dodger Stadium was credited to the Associated Press. The photo was taken by James Roark of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
In 1965, Rick Monday was the first player selected in baseball's first amateur draft, and he became a two-time All-Star. He has been a Dodgers broadcaster for the last 18 years. But Monday is best known for preventing an American flag from being burned in the Dodger Stadium outfield.
A center fielder for the Chicago Cubs at the time, Monday watched as a couple of protesters unfolded a flag in shallow left field and doused it with lighter fluid. When Monday realized what was happening, he ran over. One of the protesters lighted a match, but the wind blew it out. Right as a second match was being lighted, Monday snatched away the flag.
The fans in the stadium broke into an impromptu rendition of "God Bless America." When Monday approached the plate for his at-bat the following inning, the scoreboard flashed the message, "RICK MONDAY . . . YOU MADE A GREAT PLAY." The Dodgers acquired Monday, a former Marine Corps reservist, at the end of the season.
7 Pope visits
Sept. 16, 1987
The largest crowd ever to assemble inside Dodger Stadium -- more than 63,000 -- didn't come to watch Koufax or Valenzuela or a World Series game. It came to see and listen to Pope John Paul II. He didn't disappoint them as he presided over Mass, delivering his sermon in both English and Spanish. The event started with the largest-ever gathering of U.S. bishops entering the stadium.
A sky writer sprayed the image of a cross in the airspace above. A group of white-robed priests sitting near the altar attempted -- unsuccessfully -- to start a wave.
The pope's sermon was interrupted more than two dozen times by applause -- the longest and loudest when he commended Catholic officials for their efforts to help undocumented immigrants become U.S. citizens.
8 Beatles concert
Aug. 28, 1966
The Beatles appeared at Dodger Stadium only months after singer John Lennon was quoted in a magazine saying the rock group was "more popular than Jesus."
Well, not in this ranking. But close.
Dodger Stadium's first concert was the Beatles' penultimate performance in their final U.S. tour, a 14-city, 19-day trek that ended the following night at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. After the tour, the Beatles never again performed live ain a formal concert setting.
With the Dodgers playing in San Francisco, a crowd of more than 45,000 -- paying $4.50-$6 per ticket -- watched the Beatles perform 11 songs over about 30 minutes on a stage that was set over second base.
Leaving the stadium, drastic measures were required to enable the group to escape its rabid fans. Band members were cloaked in blankets and taken to an ambulance, then later transferred to an armored vehicle.
9 Dodgers sweep Astros
Oct. 3-5, 1980
Needing to sweep a three-game series from the front-running Houston Astros in the final series of the regular season to force a one-game playoff, the Dodgers pulled it off by the narrowest of margins.
Buoyed by some of the loudest crowds in stadium history, the Dodgers won the first game, 3-2, on a 10th-inning walk-off home run by Joe Ferguson; the second game, 2-1, as left-hander Jerry Reuss outdueled Nolan Ryan; and the finale, 4-3, as Ron Cey hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning and Don Sutton made a rare relief appearance in the ninth to earn the save.
However, after all that work, the Dodgers ran out of magic a day later. Starter Dave Goltz lasted only three innings as the Astros blasted the Dodgers, 7-1, to advance to the National League Championship Series.
10 The Olympics
July 31-Aug. 7, 1984
Dodger Stadium established itself as an international venue when it hosted baseball in the Olympics. The eight-team competition averaged crowds of more than 48,000.
The U.S. team, comprised of college players such as future major leaguers Mark McGwire, Barry Larkin and Will Clark, won the silver medal. The Americans were defeated in the final by Japan, which had on its team future seven-time Japanese league All-Star Yutaka Wada.
Future Dodger Ramon Martinez pitched for the Dominican Republic. Cuba, a power in international amateur baseball, was part of the Soviet Union-led boycott and didn't participate.