As the Dodgers travel north to start a series in San Francisco tonight, I can’t help but think back to the first time the Dodgers played at AT&T Park.â†µ
That was April 11, 2000, and was the very first regular season game ever played at the new ballpark.â†µ
Kevin Elster was the Dodgers’ starting shortstop on that day, an unlikely member of the club having been out of baseball for a year and a half. The 35-year old Elster had a career game in San Francisco that day, slamming three home runs as the Dodgers walked away with a 6-5 win, the best kind of first impression.â†µ
Elster told the Los Angeles Times after the game:â†µ
“When I decided to come back and play, I wasn’t going to go into it unless I felt I could contribute, and a day like today makes me feel like I am. No one ever comes to the ballpark thinking they’re going to hit three home runs, least of all me, but it sure feels good to do this on a day like today.”â†µ
The Dodgers have a 48-42 record all-time at AT&T Park. Will their 91st game in that park — which is an amazing ballpark, something that pains me to admit as a Dodger fan — be as memorable as their first? We will find out tonight.