This Day In Dodgers History: Record Crowd Watches Exhibition Game Against Red Sox At L.A. Memorial Coliseum

On March 29, 2008, the Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox in front of 115,300 fans for an exhibition game at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

The crowd represented the largest ever for a baseball game, surpassing the approximately 114,000 fans that saw the Australian national team face an American services team during the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne.

The game was scheduled to commemorate 50 years since the Dodgers franchise moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. The Dodgers spent four seasons playing at the Coliseum before Dodger Stadium opened April 10, 1962.

The Coliseum was originally built for the 1932 Olympics and had primarily served as football stadium. Thus, the Dodgers’ move to L.A. required three banks of lights to be added, building of dugouts and installation of two screens in order to made the Coliseum suitable for baseball.

When the Dodgers returned to the stadium in 2008, so too did a high screen and short porch in left field. With the wall in left a mere 201 feet from home plate, it required a 60-foot high screen to present somewhat of a challenge for batters.

The Dodgers spent $250,000 to build temporary dugouts, construct a baseball diamond and fencing in left field. Center field to right field remained the same cavernous area it was when the team first played at the Coliseum.

Despite the high screen, Kevin Cash lifted a three-run homer to left field and Kevin Youkilis also cleared it in a 7-4 win for the Red Sox. The Dodgers hit two home runs, including a two-run shot in the ninth inning.

The exhibition was the first baseball game played at the Coliseum since Sept. 20, 1961, when Sandy Koufax threw 13 innings in a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Dodgers anniversary celebration

In May 2019, Adidas L.A. and Philippe’s partnered to celebrate the anniversary of National League owners voting unanimously to approve the Brooklyn Dodgers’ move to the West Coast, with the day including giveaways and a special appearance by Kiké Hernandez and Justin Turner.

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