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Rekindling memories of 1958 traffic

Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers’ one-night return to the Coliseum has the team wrestling with a familiar problem -- parking.

The Dodgers are offering round-trip shuttles from the Dodger Stadium parking lot to the Coliseum for Saturday’s exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox. That wasn’t an option in 1958, before the Dodgers’ first game in Los Angeles.

The Times reported April 8, 1958, about a news conference involving local police and transportation officials who cautioned baseball fans to take advantage of mass transit, emphasizing buses. The officials warned that drivers would face traffic jams and increased neighborhood parking fees.

There had been talk of local lawn and backyard lots charging up to $6 a car for certain games.

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The officials said the Coliseum parking lot would continue to charge $1 a car.

Meanwhile, at least one high-ranking baseball official didn’t think much of the Dodgers’ decision to start their Los Angeles years in the Coliseum.

Phil Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs and referred to in an April 10, 1958, Associated Press article as the man who opened the West Coast to the Dodgers, said that the Coliseum “just isn’t suited for baseball.”

“When people go to a baseball game, they expect to see it played in a baseball park,” said Wrigley, who sold his Pacific Coast League franchise in Los Angeles to Brooklyn.

Of course, Wrigley had an idea where they should have played -- the cozier Wrigley Field.

That eventually became the first home of the Los Angeles Angels, who played there before sharing Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers until their own new stadium was built in Anaheim.

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keith.thursby@latimes.com

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Check out The Daily Mirror, The Times’ blog about Los Angeles’ colorful past, at latimes.com/thedailymirror.


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