The Dodgers and Camp Kevin

A little more than 13 years ago, a light-hitting veteran infielder went north and rained home runs down upon a brand new pumpkin patch by the sea. The Dodgers went on to stun the Giants with a three-game sweep to open what was then called Pacific Bell Park.

A few years later, the Giants had to start calling it SBC Park. Then only a couple of years after that, they again changed the name of that cozy resort to AT&T Park. Since the name could change again at anytime by the whims of corporate mergers or acquisitions, it's easier to just call the place "Camp Kevin" from now on. It's named after Kevin Elster, that middling infielder who cut the ribbon on that summertime destination with three home runs.

Camp Kevin
San Francisco, CA
Since April 11, 2000, the Dodgers have gone 62-61 at Camp Kevin. They're the only team anywhere near .500, let alone be a little above it. Sometimes, you have to wonder if the pungent odor of garlic
fries isn't really a shrewd ploy to cover the stink from the home team against their fiercest rivals.

To be fair, Camp Kevin isn't an ideal retreat. It's chilly up there, even around Independence Day. The stock of blankets, throws and Snuggies I saw behind home plate Saturday night on FOX rivaled any suburban Bed, Bath and Beyond.

The locals are annoying, at best. Sometimes, they'll cheer injured Dodgers or interrupt randomly with "Beat LA" chants. If those drunks in Boston in the early 80's had any clue what they were starting when they taunted the Lakers with that same chant, they would've licensed it and San Francisco would now be the poorest city in North America.

Hanley Ramirez enjoyed himself so much at Camp Kevin last night,
the Dodgers had to drag him back to the hotel.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo
Five fun facts about Camp Kevin:
  • The press box is padded with special material that amplifies and redirects Duane Kuiper's puking noises to the crowd.
  • Built with locally sourced, organic, vegan, fair-trade certified, BPA-free concrete and steel that was, oddly enough, tested often on animals.
  • More than 1,000 parking spots large enough to accommodate bandwagons are within a quarter-mile walk.
  • If you listen closely in the Giants clubhouse to this very day, you can still not hear Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent talking to each other.
  • Tim Lincecum stole some of the light bulbs from a tower in left field for his indoor pot-growing operation.

One of the guest suites at Camp Kevin is now named after Juan Uribe, who went digging for ribbies around the field and found seven of them in the first game of the latest getaway. His performance helped the Dodgers return to that narrow winning record and it bookends Camp Kevin's history with the team's two finest single game performances there.

Camp Kevin is a beautiful retreat right up the coast where a brisk, garlicy sea breeze refreshes the Dodgers and revives their veterans. Just remember to bring a sweater if you're going in early July.

Lineups from April 11, 2000 via Baseball-Reference
 
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Sometimes, the Dodgers break into small groups and
practice performing Boyz II Men songs at Camp Kevin.
Dodgers / Jon SooHoo
 

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