Dodger Stadium: 50 years of fans

Dodger Stadium: 50 years of fans

Dodger Stadium: 50 years of fans
As the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, season-ticket holders have shared stories about some of their favorite memories at "Blue Heaven on Earth." Leading up to the Dodgers' 2012 season, these stories will be shared here as the Dodgers celebrate 50 years of the fans who have helped make Dodger Stadium what it is today.

The Diaz family of Ventura County has had season tickets at Dodger Stadium since it opened in 1962, and has the stories to prove it. A family friend picked out the group's exact season-seat location before Dodger Stadium was even completed, and the family has kept its seats ever since.

But where are the seats? Loge level section 101 rows L and M, or -- in layman's terms -- right below Vin Scully.

"Thirty feet above me is exactly where Vin Scully sits," said Dan Diaz, who has been coming to Dodger games his entire life. "We have the view that Vin Scully has. I tell people that we're directly below him, that we have Vinny's view."

Vinny's view provides the Diaz family with a front-row seat to Dodgers history and lets them watch their favorite player, Clayton Kershaw, in action.

"It's enjoyable watching him from this angle," Diaz said. "The chemistry of the pitches coming in and out and falling, the fastballs, people just swinging and missing, it's poetry in motion."

But Diaz has been here for much longer than Kershaw has. He was at Bill Singer's no-hitter in 1970, lived Fernandomania firsthand, has been to countless Opening Days and even witnessed Kirk Gibson's walk-off home run in 1988, an event that he called "mind-boggling."

As a 10-year-old, Diaz used to come to games with his dad and his brother. "My dad would give us $2 each, a quarter for peanuts, a quarter for a soda, 50 cents for a hot dog and a dollar for a souvenir," he said.

And coming to Dodgers games with his family is a tradition Diaz continues.

"It feels like a family here, that's why our family still comes," Vinny said. "It's that feeling of family unity, kind of like a comfort food."

Diaz tells stories about Roger Owens throwing peanuts to his cousin, a family birthday trip to Vero Beach, Fla., for Spring Training and of teaching his daughter Danielle the game of baseball. Danielle's first Dodgers memory is coming to the game with her dad, being in awe of seeing baseball in person at Dodger Stadium and the one-on-one time she got to spend with her father learning the game.

For her 30th birthday, Dan put a birthday message for Danielle on the video board. "I've always wanted my name there and to be a part of the stadium," Danielle said. "I felt like I was."

In addition to her 30th, Danielle has marked many momentous life occasions at Dodger Stadium. Her husband proposed to her at Dodger Stadium's Top of the Park because he knows how important the Dodgers are to her. They had a Dodger blue wedding, and Danielle's 3-year-old daughter is even named Brooklyn.

"We were in the store upstairs and I saw her name on a pink shirt," Danielle said. "I knew I was having a girl and I thought, Brooklyn, that's a really pretty name. And she has her own line of shirts, I really like that!"

Besides Brooklyn shirts, Danielle made sure her daughter was dressed in Dodger blue at her first Dodger game with a homemade baby sling. "I printed it out myself and I have pictures holding my daughter in it," Danielle said. "She had to be Dodgered out too!"

Although Brooklyn doesn't understand baseball yet, it's a safe bet she'll learn it from her mom and grandpa.