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Stealing Home


Riley agrees--it’s complicated being a Dodger fan. LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke recently wrote about one fan’s game experience. This fan is a part-time season ticket holder and has been attending games since 1963. For the game in question, he prepaid $50 for parking but because of gridlock getting into the stadium, the parking spot was gone by the time he got there. He left his car in front of a guard rail and worried all through the game that it would be towed. The first inning was underway when he finally got inside the stadium. He stopped in the men’s bathroom first. No soap, no paper towels, wet towels all over the floor. In the third inning he went to buy a hot dog. No relish, no ketchup. After the game was over it took him 40 minutes to get out of the parking lot. Typical, most Dodger fans would say. Should have left earlier.

For seven years, it wasn’t that easy to watch a game at home either. In 2013, the Dodgers’ struck a record $8.35 billion deal with Time Warner Cable which meant you had to subscribe to Time Warner (now Spectrum) to watch a game. An estimated 70% of local households could not receive the channel. That changed on April 1, 2020 (no fooling!) when the games were added to DirecTV and AT&T TV although you still can’t watch games if your provider is Frontier, Cox, or the Dish Network. Dodger fans remain loyal though, despite escalating ticket prices, gridlock, lack of paper towels and relish, and the inability to watch the game unless you have enough disposable income to spring for the right cable provider. And also, despite the fact that the stadium sits on stolen ground. Eric Nusbaum’s wonderfully readable “Stealing Home” tells the story of the people of Palo Verde, Bishop and La Loma as well as the history of corruption in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Times. Nusbaum explains how baseball became our national pastime and how McCarthyism helped turn Americans against low-income housing. Things haven’t changed much.



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