two for the show


MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL officially became a part of Southern California 50 years ago this Friday, on April 18, 1958, when a crowd of 78,672 came to the Los Angeles Coliseum to watch the new hometown team beat the San Francisco Giants, 6-5.

And before you could say "fuhgeddaboudit," the former Brooklyn Bridegrooms — nicknamed the "Trolley Dodgers" in the 1890s because of the labyrinth of trolleys that crisscrossed the New York borough — became as synonymous with this town as the Hollywood sign and the footprints at Grauman's Chinese.

When the Los Angeles franchise moved into its new Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine in 1962, it already had begun building a legacy all its own — on the field as well as in Tinseltown. Jerry Lewis wore the L.A. Dodgers blue in "The Geisha Girl" (1958), for example, and over the years even the ballpark has become a player: Elvis Presley zipped around the parking lot filming "Spinout" (1966), Leslie Nielsen called a hilarious set of balls and strikes in "The Naked Gun" (1988) and an errant space shuttle flew over Shawn Green at bat in "The Core" (2003). Yet perhaps the Dodgers-Hollywood connection has been strongest on television (see opposite page).

The Dodgers and Hollywood. Two for the show indeed.