Framework

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April 3, 2012, 7:11 p.m.: The sun sets behind Dodger Stadium as fans in the top deck watch the Dodgers battle the Angels in a preseason game.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 7:31 p.m.: Stadium lights cast a fan's shadow on the wall of a tunnel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 7:38 p.m.: Organist Nancy Bea watches the game for musical cues. Bea, a crowd favorite, has been playing alongside announcers Rick Monday and Vin Scully since the last 1980s.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 9:10 p.m.: Transportation manager Arnold Douglass, left, gets a closer look at traffic while Carl Jones, Los Angeles Department of Transportation traffic supervisor, monitors his staff around the stadium from the Dodger Stadium transportation center.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 10:30 p.m.: After the game, groundskeepers Scott Lutold, left, Leo Figueroa and Dan Gonzales pound and rake the dirt near home plate in preparation for the next day's game.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 10:21 p.m. Groundskeepers have the field to themselves after the stands and dugouts have emptied.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 11:09 p.m.: Dodgers fan Manny Martinez Jr., 13, of Fresno stays late to soak up the post-game experience with his father, Manny Martinez (not pictured).

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 11:26 p.m.: Rolando Castillo, a member of the Dodger Stadium cleaning crew, uses a water hose to wash dirt and debris from seats.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 3, 2012, 11:39 p.m.: A security guard walks through an almost empty parking lot after finishing his shift at Dodger Stadium.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 4, 2012, 12:30 p.m.: On Wednesday, usher Robert Delgadillo, who has worked at Dodger Stadium for six years, guards a stairwell.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 4, 2012, 7:34 a.m.: With a scenic view of downtown Los Angeles, a concession worker heads through the parking lot to Dodger Stadium for Wednesday's noon preseason game.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 4, 2012, 8:29 a.m.: Minor league catcher Griff Erickson plays his guitar in an empty locker room after arriving early for Wednesday's game.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

April 4, 2012, 8:47 a.m.: Dodgers groundskeeper Eric Hansen grooms the infield dirt before the game.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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Pitch to pitch: A behind-the-scenes look at Dodger Stadium

By David Wharton

After the last out is recorded on the field, after the parking lots empty and the lights dim, a new kind of competition begins. Hundreds of workers scramble around Dodger Stadium, racing to prepare for the next day.

Their job is particularly difficult in an aging ballpark that has seen plenty of thrilling moments but not many upgrades over the years. As the clubhouse guys like to joke, the stadium’s much-hyped 50th anniversary this season marks the 50th coat of paint on the walls.

Some of the between-game chores are predictable. Within minutes of the Dodgers’ victory over the Angels in a preseason Freeway Series game Tuesday night, security guards began locking up and concession workers took inventory.

But the sport of baseball requires unique preparations. Torn uniforms must be mended. Groundskeepers stay late, beginning the delicate task of getting just the right texture and hardness on the basepaths.

More Dodger Stadium photos:

Dodger Stadium 50th anniversary

Chavez Ravine evictions to make way for Dodger Stadium construction

 

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