04/04/2007 6:05 PM ET
Dodgers ready to celebrate 2007 home opener
Steve Sax to throw out first pitch, Nomar Garciaparra to receive his Comeback Player of the Year Award from the MLBPA
LOS ANGELES -- Dodger Stadium will host its first game of the 2007 season on Monday, April 9 when the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Colorado Rockies at 1:05 p.m. The game sold out in under 15 minutes, breaking last year's record as the fastest ever for a Dodger home opener.
The day's festivities will begin with a half-hour concert by 17-year-old rising country music sensation Taylor Swift, who will later perform the National Anthem. At the age of 16, Swift released a self titled album "Taylor Swift," and its debut single, "Tim McGraw," peaked at #6 on the Billboard's Hot Country Songs in 2007. She recently released another single, "Teardrops On My Guitar," which debuted at #46 and currently ranks at #31. Swift is the Academy of Country Music's nominee for Top New Female Vocalist of the Year and is a Big Machine Records Recording Artist.
After the concert, the Dodgers will be recognized for holding the Guinness World Record for cumulative attendance by a baseball franchise for the third consecutive year. Nomar Garciaparra will receive his Comeback Player of the Year Award from the Major League Baseball Player's Association and Steve Sax will be honored for his 1982 Rookie of the Year Award before throwing out the first pitch. The ceremonial baseball that Sax will throw will be delivered to the field by the United States Navy parachute team, the Leap Frogs.
Sax earned a World Series ring for his late-season contributions to the 1981 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. During his first full season with the team in 1982, Sax earned the National League Rookie of the Year award. Throughout his career, Sax also made the All-Star team five times and had a batting average over .300 in three seasons. He stole more than 40 bases in six seasons for a career total of 444 stolen bases. Sax earned his second ring when the Dodgers won the World Series in 1988.
During the pregame there will also be a tribute to Army Staff Sergeant Aaron Anderson who received a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and an Army Commendation Medal for his service in Afghanistan, and Major Paul Sonstein who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in Iraq. The tribute will be set to the backdrop of an American Flag that will measure 300 x 150 feet. Little Leaguers from District 18 will be lined up along the infield to participate in the ceremony. To conclude the military tribute, two F-16s from Edwards Air Force Base will perform the ceremonial flyover and there will also be a short fireworks display. Additionally, the L.A. City Fire Department will fly by with city fire helicopters.
Jason Schmidt will take the mound for the Dodgers on Opening Day.
The first homestand against the Rockies will include a Magnet Schedule giveaway on Opening Day compliments of US Bank, as well as a Dodger Cap promotion (April 13 vs. Padres) and a Nomar Garciaparra Batting Practice jersey giveaway to kids 14 and under (April 14 vs. Padres).
The parking lot at Dodger Stadium will sell out on Opening Day. In order to accommodate as many fans as possible, the Dodgers are offering an Early Bird Parking/Carpool Special to fans that carpool (at least 4 fans per automobile) and park in Lot 15. These fans will receive a free ticket for each passenger to a future game if they arrive at Dodger Stadium at 9:30 a.m. and park in Lot 15 , which is the lot located above the Think Blue sign. This offer is limited to the first 600 automobiles. Lot 15 is a special access parking lot that is only utilized during sold out games. Fans will need to enter via the Academy Gate off Academy Road across from the Police Academy between 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. In addition to the free ticket for a future game, fans that carpool and park in Lot 15 will have early access to Opening Day batting practice via the Left Field Pavilion. You must have tickets to Opening Day in order to participate in this special offer. Additionally, the lots on Stadium Way near the LAFD Training Facility will cost just $5.