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Dodgers Stadium golden anniversary celebration off to nice start

The Beach Boys sing the national anthem and Walter O'Malley's daughter throws out the first pitch.

April 10, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • A fan takes a picture of the field at Dodger Stadium prior to the start of Tuesday's home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A fan takes a picture of the field at Dodger Stadium prior to the start of Tuesday's… (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)

When you’ve been around for 50 years and are having an anniversary, there’s a lot to squeeze in your little celebration.

The Dodgers kicked off Dodger Stadium's at their home opener Tuesday, and if the pregame ceremony was understandably crammed, the team found a nice way to cap it off.

At the grand opening of Dodger Stadium in 1962, owner Walter O’Malley’s wife, Kay, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Doing the honors Tuesday was their daughter, Terry Seidler, who was accompanied onto the field by her brother Peter O’Malley. Seidler and Peter O’Malley owned the team after Walter passed away in 1979.

Peter O’Malley had been critical of Frank McCourt’s ownership of the Dodgers, and was one of the early bidders seeking to purchase the club during its auction, so it was a nice gesture to invite him back for the first pitch.

Of course, it could be easy to find yourself forgiving when you just made a $1 billion. McCourt was in attendance, but was in his private suite and not in his box next to the team dugout.

Seidler threw a short curve ball to catcher Tommy Lasorda, who managed to hang onto the ball. Then Lasorda removed his hand from his glove and feigned it had been stung by the sheer velocity of the Seidler pitch.

That Beach Boys concert prior to the game? It turned into one song. They played an acoustic version of “Surfer Girl,” and later returned to sing the national anthem. At the end of the anthem the club released doves, which fortunately took a quick midair turn before almost being shot out of the air by fireworks.

The Dodgers also introduced several former players from throughout the years, former Los Angeles councilwoman Rosalind Wyman, and then 12 from the 1962 team, the first to play its home games at Dodger Stadium – Larry Burright, Tommy Davis, Tim Harkness, Ken McMullen, Wally Moon, Ron Perranoski, Pete Richert, Ed Roebuck, Norm Sherry, Daryl Spencer, Stan Williams and Maury Wills.

That segment prior to the game when the club normally has kids announce, “It’s time for Dodger baseball,” found special substitutes in Wills and Davis.

There was also a nice standing ovation from the crowd for Vin Scully when it was announced he would miss the game because he was down with a bad cold.


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