Before the Doyers: ‘Once Upon A Time in Chavez Ravine’ (videos, photo)

by Comic Saenz on October 25, 2017 in Cultura, Las Fotos, Video

Although we root root root for the home team, we can never forget the gente who were forced out of their homes in Chavez Ravine to make way for Dodger Stadium.

Last night Chavez Ravine looked like this …

Mister, you’re a baseball man, as anyone can plainly see
The straightest game in this great land. Take a little tip from me
I work here nights, parking cars, underneath the moon and stars
The same ones that we all knew back in 1952
And if you want to know where a local boy like me is coming from:
3rd base, Dodger Stadium

2nd base, right over there. I see grandma in her rocking chair
Watching linens flapping in the breeze, and all the fellows choosing up their teams
Hand over hand on that Louisville. Crowning the top, king of the hill
Mound to home, sixty feet. Baseball been very good to me
And if you want to know where a local boy like me is coming from:
3rd base, Dodger Stadium
3rd base, Dodger Stadium

Back around the 76 ball, Johnny Greeneyes had his shoeshine stall
In the middle of the 1st base line, got my first kiss, Florencia was kind
Now, if the dozer hadn’t taken my yard, you’d see the tree with our initials carved
So many moments in my memory. Sure was fun, ’cause the game was free
It was free

Hey mister, you seem anxious to go. You’ll find that seat, in the 7th row
Behind home plate, where we used to meet. When we were young, we had dreams
Just a place you don’t know, up a road you can’t go
Just a thought, laid to rest in my mind, just a time
If you care to know where I’m gonna go when I hit my last homerun:
3rd base, Dodger Stadium
3rd base, Dodger Stadium
3rd base, Dodger Stadium
Hey, Mister, you are a baseball man
Yes, I’m a baseball man myself
Yes, I’m a baseball man, too
Baseball been very good to me
Yes, baseball been very good to me

{ 1 comment }

Ken Keppeler October 28, 2017 at 5:18 PM

My Dad grew up near Whittier and Lorena and he went to Roosevelt and had friends in Chavez Ravine. He loved baseball and played for part of a season for the Hollywood Stars but he couldn’t support his growing family on that. He was not a Dodger fan before they moved to LA and after they threw all those people out of there to put up the stadium, he, nor I – the oldest -, were Dodger fans. I used to sneak in and root for the other side. To us it was unforgivable what they did to that neighborhood. My younger siblings became Dodger fans.
Something similar happened to us. We lived in a place in Griffith Park called Roger Young Village, from 1947 or 48 until around 1954, when they tore down all of the houses to put in a golf course. As far as we know at the time, only ricos played golf. We were supposed to move to Maravilla but we were able to live for a couple of years in Highland Park and then we moved to South San Gabriel. Roger Young village was on the golf course down the hill from the new zoo and my wife and I played there at the new zoo one time and I pointed down there and told the kids in the audience that I grew up there when I was their age, right in the middle of the golf course. It’s not third base but it’s also no longer a neighborhood, a place where I had my first kiss as well, families from all over the states and from all over the world lived in Roger Young Village, it was like a real big family.

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