The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Whitehall Ledger 

Column: Chavez Ravine


September 26, 2018

I watched a lot of baseball growing up. In fact many of my favorites summer memories were watching the Atlanta Braves play on TBS, followed by night games outside with kids in my neighborhood.

At the time and for a reason why I to this day can’t understand, the southern based team was in the National League West with teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers games would always stand out to me more than the other division rivals, especially because I used to giggle that they would have a man sitting in the front row behind home plate with a funny hat and a radar gun. I swear he used to also smoke a cigar, but that might be my mind playing tricks on me. There was also one huge thing that also stood out was the fans of the team who play their games at “Chavez Ravine”.

When the game would start the seats would be nearly empty and then like clockwork, around the start of the second inning the crowds would start to appear.

Then around the end of the seventh inning, the crowd would disappear. By the end of the game, the stadium looked the same as it did at the start. I would see this in person several times and it always bothered me.

I get the fact they were arriving late because of the traffic. Getting to that stadium is a nightmare as far as traffic, and leaving is even worse. I just always wondered why even bother going if you are not going to stay? Can’t you just adjust your schedule and leave a little bit earlier?

I was at a game once with my sister at Chavez Ravine and she suggested we leave early. I wanted no business of that but had accidentally dumped a tray with about $50 worth of beer and Dodger dogs she had purchased down the stairs, so I didn’t have any leverage in the conversation. I was super proud of her last year, she made it to her seats at the World Series early and stayed for the entirety of one of the greatest games in postseason history. I had not thought a lot about the Dodger fans and traffic until the other night when I went to see Pearl Jam concert in Missoula, and a Rise Against show last Wednesday night in Bozeman.

At both concerts people would start leaving in hordes near the end of the set. I giggled to myself when both bands ended up playing about 30 minutes after a large group left. They missed out on amazing songs, choices that had been saved till the end for a reason.

I get to each their own, but if I’m going to pay good money to go see a band, I’m going to see them play each and every note. I don’t care if I’m there for 48 hours and the arena looks like the set of “The Walking Dead”, I’m going to get what I paid for.

I know that a lot of people wanted to once again beat the traffic, but I wish I could have assured them that it wasn’t going to be as bad as it was in Los Angeles. It might take five or ten minutes longer than it normally would, but nobody seems to have patience anymore. And speaking of traffic in Bozeman, people sure are starting to drive like it is Los Angeles and that is very unfortunate. It is Montana; nobody should be in such a hurry. If you want to drive like you live in California, move there.

I’m hoping I get to go to another Dodger game or concert soon, I’m just hoping people stick around. The juice is worth the squeeze.


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