The Dodgers began celebrating their 50th anniversary in Los Angeles by introducing many stars of the past immediately before the game, and it was pretty breathtaking seeing everyone from Don Newcombe and Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela walk out onto the field, most of them in uniform. The crowd of 56,000 was suitably impressed. You couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day for baseball, with sunny skies and a starting temperature of 62 degrees.
They celebration continued in the first inning with a 2-run homer from Jeff Kent, allaying any fears that his hamstring injury would hold him up this season. That would have been enough to win the game, with Brad Penny pitching very well into the 7th inning. Proctor got the last out in that inning, followed by perfect innings from Joe Beimel and Takashi Saito, to complete a shutout of the hated Giants, 5-0.
Offensively the Dodgers did well. Leadoff batter Rafael Furcal got 3 hits, and RBI and a run scored. Batting 7th, lucky #7 James Loney got 2 hits and a walk, and a run scored. Rookie Dewitt got his first hit in his first major league at-bat (and scored as well) after initiating a 5-4-3 double play in his first play in major league baseball.
The kids look very good. Delwyn Young needs to redevelop the plate patience he had that helped get him to the major leagues. He seems very anxious to swing.
If there's anything hollow about this victory, it's how terrible the Giants looked. Barry Zito's fastball sat at around 84 mph throughout the game, and it took him a lot of pitches to barely make it through 5 innings. Their geriatric team looked weak in every way, from pitching to hitting to fielding (although there were no errors).
But the Dodgers could not have asked for a better way to start the season!!!