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03/30/2006 1:12 PM ET
Dodgers to kick off 2006 season with an eventful Opening Day celebration
Two-time Grammy Award-winning Hootie and the Blowfish to perform; Tommy Lasorda to throw out first pitch; Tony Award-winning Kristin Chenoweth to sing the National Anthem
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers kick off their 45th season at Dodger Stadium on Monday, April 3 against the Atlanta Braves. The Opening Day celebration will feature a half-hour live concert by Hootie and the Blowfish, a video tribute to the 1981 World Championship team with Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda on hand to throw out the first pitch, a B2 Stealth Bomber flyover, and much more. The game sold out in just 15 minutes, the fastest ever for a Dodger home opener.

Dodger players will begin the pregame festivities at noon by welcoming fans at the turnstiles, where they will be handing out Magnet Schedules to all fans in attendance, courtesy of Dreyer's. The on-field extravaganza features a 30-minute concert by Vanguard Records recording artists, Hootie and the Blowfish. Their latest album, "Looking for Lucky," was released in August 2005. The South Carolina band's Atlantic debut "Cracked Rear View" received the RIAA's Diamond Award for U.S. sales of ten million albums and was certified 16 times platinum. Their first three albums combined sold over 25 million copies worldwide and they earned two Grammy Awards in 1996 (Best New Artist and Best Performance By a Duo or Group) for their hit song "Let Her Cry."

After the concert, the United States Navy parachute team, the Leap Frogs, will descend on the Dodger Stadium outfield and deliver the ceremonial first pitch ball. Little Leaguers representing District 18 will line the infield.

The ceremonial first pitch will be delivered by former Dodger Manager and Special Advisor to the Chairman, Tommy Lasorda. Lasorda recently served as the Ambassador to the World Baseball Classic and will help launch the season-long celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Dodgers' historic 1981 season that ended with a World Championship.

Singing "God Bless America" and "The Star Spangled Banner" is Tony Award-winning Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth ("Wicked," "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown"). Chenoweth had a recurring role on TV's "The West Wing" and some of her film credits include "R.V.," "Running With Scissors," "Stranger Than Fiction," "The Pink Panther," and "Bewitched." Chenoweth also has recorded two albums, "Let Yourself Go," and "As I Am."

Following the anthem will be a flyover by a B2 Stealth Bomber, supported by the 509th BW Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent will receive his Silver Slugger Award, which he earned for the fourth time in 2005 as the best hitting second baseman in the National League. Dodger hitting coach Eddie Murray, a Hall of Fame first baseman and former Silver Slugger Award Winner, will present Kent with the award.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be on hand to present the Dodgers with the Guinness World Record Certificate for the highest cumulative attendance for a baseball franchise, with nearly 170 million fans between 1901 and 2005. Ron Cey, former Dodger third baseman and member of the 1981 World Championship team, will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

The colors will be presented by the Royal Rangers Outpost 154 - runners up in the District Royal Ranger's color guard contest in Ontario.

Derek Lowe will take the mound for the Dodgers on Opening Day.

The first homestand against the Braves also includes a Car Window Cling Decal promotion sponsored by GM on April 4 and a tribute to the late Rod Dedeaux on April 5. "Rod Dedeaux Night" will feature members of the Dedeaux family, along with special guests from the collegiate, professional and international baseball community.

Opening Day Schedule of Events:

11:55 am - Players at turnstiles until 12:10 pm

12:00 pm - Hootie and the Blowfish performance - 30 minute set

12:30 pm - 1981 World Series celebration video feature on Dodgervision

12:35 pm - Parachute team begins jump into outfield area with game balls

12:40 pm - Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award - Jeff Kent

12:42 pm - Atlanta Braves Intros

12:47 pm - Dodger Intros - Fireworks shot during starting line-up

12:52 pm - Tommy Lasorda First Ball ceremony

12:56 pm - Royal Rangers Color guard

12:57 pm - God Bless America and the National Anthem - Kristin Chenoweth

1:00 pm - Air Force Flyover

1:05 pm - Mayor Villaraigosa to present Guinness Certificate to Ron Cey

1:10 pm - Game time

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