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Dodgers to celebrate 50 years in Los Angeles
09/12/2007 5:33 PM ET
LOS ANGELES -- The 2008 season marks the 50th Anniversary of the Dodgers moving to Los Angeles. The Dodgers will celebrate this Golden Anniversary with fans around the world through a series of historical, cultural and promotional events that are unique to Los Angeles and honor the legacy of the franchise and its players and the loyalty of the Dodger fans.

"Baseball truly became a 'national' pastime when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles," said Dodger Vice Chairman and President Jamie McCourt. "Many Angelenos fell in love with baseball when they fell in love with the Dodgers and the Golden Anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the loyalty of our fans and the incredible relationship that has developed between the team, the players, and the city."

Each month of the season the Dodgers will highlight a decade of the team's history in Los Angeles. In April, we will celebrate the 50s, in May the 60s, in June the 70s, in July the 80s, in August the 90s, and in September we will host a reunion of Dodger legends. The Dodgers played their first game in Los Angeles against the San Francisco Giants on April 18, 1958 and a special program to honor the 50-year West Coast rivalry between the two teams will be held during the 2008 Dodgers-Giants homestands. Next year also marks the 20th Anniversary of the 1988 World Championship, which will receive a special tribute in July 2008. The Dodgers have won six World Championships, five of them in Los Angeles, and Dodger players from these teams and all the others will be honored throughout the season.

Beginning today, fans will have the chance to vote for the "Top 50 Moments in L.A. Dodger History" and the "All-Time L.A. Team" at www.dodgers.com/anniversary with results being unveiled next year. In addition to these online initiatives, longtime Dodger sponsors, including Farmer John, 76, Coca-Cola, La Opinion, Carl's Jr. and others will commemorate the Golden Anniversary with a variety of promotional events, sweepstakes, contests, and special programs throughout the 2008 season.

The Golden Anniversary celebration will commence on January 1, 2008 when Dodger legends past and present ride on a float through Pasadena in the 119th Rose Parade, known around the world as "America's New Year Celebration." The Dodger float will honor the team's 50-year relationship with Los Angeles and its loyal fans and it is the first time the Dodgers have entered a float into the parade. Dodger fans will have an opportunity to volunteer to decorate the float, to win a seat on the float and to purchase seats in the Dodger Grandstand on the Rose Parade route. The float will be designed and built by Festival Artists Worldwide.

The Dodger float will be preceded in the parade by the prestigious Los Angeles Unified All District High School Honor Band. This will be the 35th time the "All City Band" has performed in the Rose Parade. Under the direction of Anthony White and Art Duardo, the band brings together best-in-class student musicians of all racial and ethnic backgrounds from the four corners of the city - East Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, the Harbor Area, and the Valley - to create one of the greatest marching bands in the country. A select group of musicians from the band will perform the National Anthem prior to tonight's game against the Padres. World-renowned chef Emeril Lagasse will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 2008 Rose Parade themed Passport to the World's Celebrations and throw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium on September 29.

"Baseball - like the Rose Parade - is a celebration of the American spirit and the Dodgers have been a Los Angeles institution since arriving from Brooklyn 50 years ago," said CL Keedy, president of the Tournament of Roses. "My grandfather and I listened to the games on the radio and I could not think of a more perfect place for the Dodgers to kick-off their golden anniversary than at the Rose Parade on New Year's Day."

Since their move from Brooklyn, the Dodgers have enjoyed a special relationship with Hollywood and to this day host an annual Hollywood Stars Game. In February of 2008, the Los Angeles Dodgers will receive a star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star will be presented by Johnny Grant, chairman of the Walk of Fame Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. The Dodgers are a recipient in the Live Theater/Live Performance category.

"The relationship between the Dodgers and Hollywood has lasted longer than most Hollywood marriages," said Grant. "We are proud to honor the Dodgers with a star on the Walk of Fame."

The Golden Anniversary will be commemorated by legendary sports artist Stephen Holland who has been commissioned by the Dodgers to create an original work of art for the occasion. Widely regarded as the leading sports artist for his incredible portraits of some of the world's greatest athletes including Sandy Koufax, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Roberto Clemente and most recently Tiger Woods, Holland's work will be unveiled on Opening Day 2008.

"I'm truly honored to be commissioned by the Dodgers to commemorate their 50th anniversary in Los Angeles," said Holland. "Growing up in New York City and then living half my life in Southern California, I have always been a Dodger fan. The Dodgers standard of excellence, from their breaking of the color barrier with Jackie Robinson to their continued support of the Los Angeles community and their diverse fans, resonates deep within me. The work of art that I will create will embody that Dodger standard --celebrating the history of their 50 years in Los Angeles, the embracing of the team by the city and the Dodgers commitment to the Los Angeles community in return."

Dodger television partners will be heavily involved in commemorating the anniversary with unique coverage and programming specials throughout the season.

"The Dodgers are a vital part of the fabric of our community," said Don Corsini, President and General Manager, KCAL 9 and sister station CBS 2. "We feel fortunate to be the team's television partner as it reaches this wonderful milestone and plan to promote and celebrate it throughout the 2008 season. In addition to our game broadcasts and "Think Blue TV" pre-game shows, the Dodgers' 50th anniversary in Los Angeles will receive extensive coverage during our newscasts and daily "Sports Central" sportscasts."

"As the destination for the most comprehensive Dodgers coverage in the market, we are proud to be a part of the Think Blue tradition," said Steve Simpson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FSN Prime Ticket and FSN West. "We will celebrate the Dodgers 50th anniversary with the team and the fans."

The Dodgers Golden Anniversary official logo includes the following: five beams of light representing the five championships in Los Angeles; two palm trees representing the Dodgers two homes in Los Angeles - the Coliseum and Dodger Stadium; a base with the L.A. logo inside it representing Los Angeles as the home of the Dodgers; the color gold, which is the traditional color for the 50th, or golden, anniversary; and Dodger blue to represent the team and the blue that graces Dodger Stadium. Dodger home and away uniforms will feature the commemorative logo patch during the 2008 season.

Special merchandise will be created for the Golden Anniversary celebration including: a hat, pin and t-shirt featuring the LA logo, the 50th Anniversary logo and the Rose Parade logo to commemorate the Dodgers participation in the Rose Parade. These items are currently available at Dodger Stadium retail outlets. Additional items featuring the 50th Anniversary logo will be in-stores next season. Other memorabilia and merchandise will be released throughout the year.

Additional events will be announced in the coming months. For more information regarding all elements of the Golden Anniversary celebration, go to www.dodgers.com/anniversary.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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