50 Years of Dodger Big Swings
From Koufax to Gibson to Kemp, the ballpark in Chavez Ravine has seen it all.
April 10, 1962: After four seasons in the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, the team unveils Dodger Stadium, where 52,564 fans attend the first Opening Day.
Oct. 6, 1963: The Dodgers polish off the New York Yankees, completing a four-game World Series sweep as Sandy Koufax outduels Whitey Ford, 2-1, in the finale.
Sept. 9, 1965: Koufax throws a perfect game (his fourth no-hitter), striking out 14 Cubs, including three in the ninth. Vin Scully's nail-biting call ("I would think the mound at Dodger Stadium is the loneliest place in the world") would become a classic.
Aug. 28, 1966: The Beatles play the first concert at Dodger Stadium in a show promoted by future Newlywed Game host Bob Eubanks. The Fab Four would perform just one more show together, two nights later at San Francisco's Candlestick Park.
June 4, 1972: On Old Timers Day, the Dodgers retire the uniform numbers of Koufax (32), Roy Campanella (39) and Jackie Robinson (42).
April 7, 1977: Frank Sinatra sings the national anthem on Opening Day, fulfilling a promise to Tommy Lasorda that he would do so when the third-base coach became the team's manager.
April 25, 1976: In the year of the nation's bicentennial celebration, Cubs outfielder Rick Monday dashes over and swipes an American flag from two protesters who jump on the field and try to set Old Glory on fire.
Oct. 11, 1978: In an epic battle, fireballing rookie Bob Welch, 21, fans Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson to end Game 2 of the World Series.
April-May 1981: Fernandomania is unleashed on L.A. as screwballer Fernando Valenzuela, a rookie left-hander from Mexico, starts the season 8-0 with five shutouts.
Sept. 16, 1987: The largest crowd in stadium history (63,000) comes to hear Pope John Paul II celebrate mass. Actor Ricardo Montalban serves as master of ceremonies.
1988: Dodger Stadium stands in for Angel Stadium in Paramount's The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! as Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) must stop a hypnotized Reggie Jackson from assassinating the Queen of England.
Oct. 15, 1988: Gimpy Kirk Gibson comes off the bench to hit a one-handed, two-run, two-out, ninth-inning home run off Oakland's Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1 of the Series. Scully's call: "High fly ball into right field, she i-i-i-is … gone!!"
June 4, 1990: Slender Dominican right-hander Ramon Martinez strikes out 14 of the first 19 hitters he faces en route to tying Koufax's 31-year-old team record of 18 strikeouts in a game.
April 13, 1996: One year after coming over from Japan, right-hander Hideo Nomo uses his deceptive tornado delivery to strike out 17 Marlins.
Sept. 21, 1997: Mike Piazza becomes the first L.A. player to hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium, a towering 478-foot blast that lands on the roof of the left-field pavilion.
July 3, 2004: Game Over! Eric Gagne converts his 84th straight save, a major-league record.
Sept. 18, 2006: Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin and Marlon Anderson connect on consecutive solo homers in the ninth as the Dodgers tie the score against the Padres, then win it in the 10th inning, 11-10, on a Nomar Garciaparra two-run shot.
Aug. 26, 2011: Matt Kemp's homer makes him only the second Dodger in history to collect 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season. He would finish the year with 39 homers and 40 steals and wind up second in the MVP race.
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