Friday, March 28, 2008

Local woman remembers Dodgers' first season in L.A.


Fifty years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers played their first home game at the L.A. Coliseum in front of 78,000 screaming fans, and among them was Santa Barbara resident Gerry Nordsieck.
Then a senior in high school, Nordsieck said she had followed the Dodgers in Brooklyn to counter her brother’s love for the New York Yankees. So when her favorite team moved to her hometown, she said it was a dream come true — one that will be partly relived tonight when the Dodgers play the Boston Red Sox at the coliseum to commemorate 50 years in L.A.

“It was just awesome,” Nordsieck said. “You couldn’t dream a dream like that as a kid.”
Now 68, Nordsieck said she still has the scorecard she sketched at that game and other memorabilia from that inaugural year.
Nordsieck said she doesn’t remember much from that day, but does recall it was the Dodgers’ first home stand and they opened up against the San Francisco Giants. She also said Carl Erskine, who won 122 games for the Dodgers over 10 years, pitched that day.
When she heard the Dodgers planned to return to the coliseum for one game, her initial thought was that it doesn’t seem like 50 years has passed since that first game.
“I just thought, wow, 50 years,” she said. “I can’t believe it’s been that long. It just doesn’t seem possible that that was 50 years ago.”
One thing Nordsieck said she preferred about those days was the ability to get close to the players.
“That’s one of the things I always associated with baseball,” she said. “The players were available to the fans.”
Though she won’t be at tonight’s game, Nordsieck said she still attends several games each year, and with former Yankees' skipper Joe Torre as manager, she’s hopeful her Dodgers will make an appearance in the World Series.
“I’m real excited about the whole new feeling that I have,” she said. “We’re going to go all the way there’s just no doubt about it.”

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