Disclaimer: This post contains an inordinate amount of selfie-type photos of me. Forgive me. I was so over-the-top excited about this night and being where I was and meeting who I met. It's a Cuban thing.
Imagine a stadium full of Cubans, all noisy and celebrating and munching on Dodger dogs.
Picture them stopping to do the mandatory Cuban kiss thing. "Oye! Hace tiempo!" Picture them talking loudly and laughing and sharing pastelitos de guayaba right there in the stands.
Picture them dancing wildly when the Dodgers score.
Well, technically, they were already dancing, because Cubans, but that's not important right now.
Those were the sights and sounds of Cuba Night at Dodger Stadium on Monday, May 11th.
As part of the Cuban Heritage Committee it was my great honor to help organize this fun event and work hand in hand with the Dodgers.
We were asked to "Please arrive at least an hour before the 7:10 game time."
These instructions seem simple enough, but I live over an hour south of LA, two if there's traffic, which means we had to leave a few hours before. Which meant that if I hoped to arrive at 6pm, we had to leave at 4pm.
Miraculously we did not encounter much traffic at all and flew up to Dodger Stadium in record time. and arrived before they were even letting people in. (Win!)
Amy and Jonathan drove with me while Lucy and boyfriend, Marc took the train. My sister, Alina would just meet us all there.
Things that are cool about entering Dodger Stadium via the Club Entrance:
1) That's where all the retired jerseys live. Of course, you recognize #42, the incomparable Jackie Robinson. How cool is that?
2) That's where real-life-Dodger-legends enter the stadium. Like legendary Dodger manager, Tommy Lasorda. I went full Fangirl on poor unsuspecting Tommy. Because…hello! Tommy Lasorda!
3) The First Pitch Thrower Outers also come in the Club Entrance. And because it was Cuban night, the first pitch for the event was thrown out by our own local Cuban legend, Mr. Andy Garcia. You will obviously understand the crazed Look-How-Close-I-Am-to-Andy-Garcia look on my face.
The game hadn't even started and I was already crazy-happy. But then, the Dodgers were going to introduce some of us on the Cuban Heritage Committee, which meant we got to ACTUALLY BE DOWN ON THE FIELD. Somebody pinch me.
So, I'm all nutty and excited while our "handler" and Dodger PR liaison, Sammy is trying to get us all in formation for a very public introduction. And we're all "Guys! Oye! We're on the field! How accidentally cool is this?" and we're all taking selfies and being all distracted and being Cuban and waving at everyone.
And poor Sammy was mildly frustrated with us in a "this is like herding cats" way. But, no. It was like very much "herding Cubans" which comes with its own set of frustrations, but that's not important right now, either.
We finally get introduced while standing on the field in complete awe of the moment. Here's the video to prove that it happened.
My kids took a photo of me on the Jumbotron. And I thought, "It just doesn't get any better than this!"
But it did!
The game itself was a little slow in the beginning, but trust me, it sooo got better.
By the 7th inning stretch the Dodgers were losing, but of course we were in full This-is-just-a-big-Cuban-party mode. Our friends at Cuban Heritage Day at Dodger Stadium captured all the awesome Cubanity as we stretched and sang along with Roly and Lucy Vega from Habana Brand Clothing.