Numerous vendors contributor to comprehensive sign package
By Steve Aust
In 1958, when the Dodgers pulled up stakes in Brooklyn and moved approximately 2,500 miles to Los Angeles, the team’s culture changed from being “Da Bums” and second fiddle to the Yankees (and, sometimes, even the third-best team in Gotham behind the Giants, who had yet to move to San Francisco), to having a commanding role in the L.A. sports scene. From Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale’s tenacity on the mound, to Kirk Gibson’s epic home-run blast in the 1988 World Series, to phenom Yasiel Puig’s explosive rookie season, the Dodgers have added immeasurably to baseball lore.
Although it may not have the voluminous history of Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, Dodger Stadium ranks among the pantheon of baseball shrines. A trip to the West Coast with my mother in the 1980s included a trip to Dodger Stadium. Although the “in by the third, out by the seventh [inning]” cliché about the team’s distracted fanbase was close to correct, the atmosphere at “Chavez Ravine” remains the most transcendent ballpark experience I’ve encountered.
However, the team’s legacy had recently encountered a rough patch. Former owner Frank McCourt’s revolving door of team executives and managers, as well as a messy – and very public – divorce, and an embezzlement scandal with a team-affiliated charity run by a McCourt associate, tarnished the team’s on-field success and off-field image. Also, the severe beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow by two rogue Dodger fans after a game there brought an onslaught of negative publicity.
The team’s new ownership, Guggenheim Baseball, principally operated by financial-services magnates Todd Boehly and Mark Walter, turned the page by investing aggressively in stadium renovations, which included an ambitious new signage and environmental-graphics design program. Baltimore-based Ashton Design assumed the project’s design phase. The company’s portfolio includes the original signage and graphics for Baltimore’s Camden Yards, as well as components of a 2012 renovation, as well as Fenway Park’s entire sign package.
“Every stadium is different, and every owner has a different vision of how he wants his stadium to look,” Ronnie Younts, Ashton’s creative director, said. “The Dodgers wanted the stadium’s identity to retain its original 1962 [the year Dodger Stadium opened] identity and restore the park’s mid-century aesthetics, while honoring the team’s Brooklyn legacy.”
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