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This story first appeared in the Aug. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Larry King, 78, attended his first Dodgers game in 1943 — in his hometown of Brooklyn. Four years later, King was on hand for Jackie Robinson’s first game at Ebbets Field (the talk show host interviewed Robinson twice). King moved to Miami to break into broadcasting in 1957, the last year the team played in Brooklyn.
When King moved to Los Angeles in 1997, he renewed his love for the club. “I’ve bled Dodger blue all my life,” says King, a season ticket holder who can be seen regularly in the Dugout Club.
King’s suggestions for the team’s new owners:
1. NEW CLUBHOUSES!
King says the team facilities, like the locker rooms, are antiquated. “A free agent, they’ve played in all the places, they know what the clubhouses look like.”
2. NAMING RIGHTS!
He’s a purist, but it wouldn’t drive him nuts. “I understand the reality of modern economics. If you’re going to put that money back into the ballclub — done.”
3. BUILD ON THE LOTS!
King would build beyond the outfield, but judiciously. “There’s no vista like this; it’s a beautiful ballpark.” Of course, he’d also address car ingress/egress issues.
4. CHANGE SEAT COLORS!
He’s tired of the yellow Field level seats and thinks the Reserve level isn’t the right shade of blue. “I’d make the bottom dark blue, maybe the top white.”
5. QUIET PLEASE!
King is a fan of organ music and has tired of prerecorded music and the clips shown on the video screen. “The kiss cam — I’ve had enough of that already.”
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