LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The first World Series at Dodger Stadium in 29 years, set to start Tuesday, may break a record for the hottest World Series game ever.
When the first pitch is thrown at 5:09 p.m., the temperature could hit 100 degrees, even hotter than the previously hottest World Series game in Phoenix.
That was on Oct. 27, 2001, when the Arizona Diamondbacks hosted the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 2001 World Series. The first-pitch temperature then was 94 degrees, and Major League Baseball ordered the roof at then-Bank One Ballpark to be opened, according to the Weather Channel and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Alex Lamers.
In addition to the heat, the dreaded Santa Ana winds that wreak so much havoc in Southern California’s mountains and foothill areas are also expected to blow at about 25 mph from right field and right at home plate.
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says he doesn’t expect the heat and wind to have an effect on Tuesday’s game.
“In Los Angeles I think that our estimation of hot is still relative to being in Southern California by the coast,” Roberts said.
“The guy taking the baseball mound for us, I don’t think that he’s concerned about a little spike in heat, so we feel good,” Roberts said, referring to Clayton Kershaw, who was raised in the Dallas area.
“Love it,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, a Southern California native and the co-MVP of the NL Championship Series. “I’d rather be playing in the heat than in the snow, so it’s great.”
“Never would I have expected that at the end of October, going into November,” Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor said. “That’s LA for you, though.”
The Dodgers are in the World Series for the first time since 1988, and the temperature feels just fine to the boys in blue.
“Everything is hot in LA!” Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said with a grin. “The Dodgers are hot. Everybody is excited. It’s been a while since Kirk Gibson. Of course it’s hot today.”
The 56,000 Dodgers fans will be more vulnerable to the elements when they crowd into their venerable stadium to witness the end of their team’s 29-year World Series drought. Dodgers outfielder Curtis Granderson offered advice to fans and teammates alike.
“Hydration is going to be key, and trying to cool off is going to be key,” Granderson said. “But I think if you would poll everybody, everybody would definitely like it to be a little bit warmer than they would be cold.”
The World Series hasn’t visited the three open-air ballparks in the southern half of California since 2002, when the then-Anaheim Angels won it all.
The sun is scheduled to set about one hour after the first pitch in each of the first two games, so the heat will drop after that. But the temperatures could even knock out the marine layer — the thick air mass caused by cooling temperatures near the Pacific Ocean and often blamed for fly balls falling short of the fence from San Diego to Oakland.
“I think it’s going to benefit the hitters,” Dodgers utilityman Kike Hernandez said. “The hotter it is here, the better the ball carries.”
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