There will definitely be fireworks after the Dodgers take on the Baltimore Orioles Monday night as the Boys in Blue celebrate Independence Day, but will there be any fireworks on the field during the game?
A big crowd was expected to show up for the Fourth of July, but maybe that’s because of the promise of the post-game display and not because of the listless performance of the Dodgers.
Los Angeles is mired in a distant second place behind arch-rival San Francisco. It makes matters worse that the Dodgers have the most expensive team in major league baseball.
But the team’s front office will make every effort to stir up fan excitement by offering special “Firecracker” hot dogs, having players wear unique uniforms and putting on the fireworks show after the game.
The 4th of July Firecracker Dog is a quarter-pound, all-beef hot dog topped with spicy nacho cheese, pickled jalapenos and flaming hot Cheetos. It will be available at the Extreme Loaded Dog concession areas on the field, loge and reserve levels.
All 29 U.S.-based Major League Baseball teams will wear “stars and stripes” jerseys on Independence Day for the second consecutive year and “stars and stripes” caps for the ninth consecutive year.
The familiar Dodgers lettering across the jersey will be in red with a stars pattern. The player numbers on the front will also have the red stars pattern. The Dodger caps will have a stars pattern and the team’s logo will be outlined in red.
Major League Baseball will again donate its licensed uniform royalties from sales of the “stars and stripes” jerseys and caps from the 29 U.S.-based teams to Welcome Back Veterans, which provides treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder for veterans and their families, including funding a program at UCLA.
Pregame ceremonies will include a giant flag being unveiled by members of all branches of the U.S. military — the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jeff Smith of Los Angeles will sing the national anthem. He is the conductor of the 300th Army Band.
U.S. Air Force Reserve Maj. Dan Rooney will throw the ceremonial first pitch. He is the founder of Folds of Honor, which provides educational scholarships to the children and spouses of members of the military killed or disabled in the line of duty.
The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Army Sgt. Evelyn Araiza of Los Angeles. Araiza enlisted in 2002 and her first assignment was with the 82nd Airborne Division, where she worked as an intelligence analyst.
Araiza deployed three times to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She currently serves as a senior enlisted advisor with the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base and attends the University of Norwich, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Araiza’s accolades include two Bronze Stars and the Combat Action Badge. She was also selected to serve as a Cultural Support Team Member supporting the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.
Auto gates will open at 3:40 p.m. and stadium gates at 4:10 p.m. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 5:57 p.m. and the game at 6:10 p.m.
—City News Service
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