AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Schwartz is keeping two pairs for himself – which his two sons already love – and giving two to his dad as a Hanukkah gift. “When I told him I bought the seats (for myself), he thought I was crazy,” he said. “But I know when he sees them, he’ll love them. And now, I feel like I’m in my dad’s footsteps, taking my boys to baseball games, getting them excited for Opening Day.” For many, the bond between a father and son is at the core of the baseball experience – creating memories at Chavez Ravine over a Dodger Dog and a beverage. Baseball has the ability to close the generation gap, and the old seats, which witnessed more than 30 years of Dodgers history, are providing another outlet for that. While Schwartz is buying them to rekindle memories with his father, Arlen Estrem is hoping to use them to build memories with his 3-year-old son. Marc Schwartz’s earliest baseball memories came in the yellow field-level seats at Dodger Stadium, where he soaked in the bright lights and green grass, sitting next to his father, Jerry. Now 38, Schwartz wants to capture that stadium atmosphere right in his own backyard, and he wants to share the memories with his father. The Dodgers made it easy for him. Last week, the Santa Clarita man bought four pairs of seats from Dodger Stadium that were removed by the team during a $20 million renovation. The Dodgers are now replacing all 56,000, and fans can buy the old plastic-and-metal seats for $250 a pair. Estrem grew up in Northern California, too far from Dodger Stadium to go to games, but he was still a Dodgers fan. He remembers rooting for Steve Garvey from afar. Now living in Long Beach, he wants to share his passion for the blue with his son, Noah. The seats will go in Noah’s bedroom, Estrem said. “I’m a huge baseball fan, and I’m trying to instill the same thing in my son,” he said. The Dodgers believe their seats make a perfect last-minute holiday gift. There are plenty available – they’ve sold about 12,000, although many of the 56,000 seats were damaged and will not be sold. And they’re easy to buy – they can be ordered on the Dodgers Web site, dodgers.com, and picked up at the stadium hours later. The cost to ship them via DHL is $100 a pair. “What you’re really purchasing are memories,” Dodgers Chief Operating Officer Marty Greenspun said. “For each fan, it’s different. When fans come here to pick up the seats, they love to talk about their stories.” The Dodgers are donating proceeds from the sale to the Dodgers Dream Foundation, a community outreach program for local children, Greenspun said. The Dodgers aren’t the first team to sell seats. A New York department store sold those removed from Yankee Stadium during its 1974-75 renovation for $7.50 and five empty packs of cigarettes. In 2004, the city of New York sold newer Yankee Stadium seats at a steeper price – $1,500 for a set of three. At Dodger Stadium, Parking Lot 32 has been transformed into a stadium seat showroom. They are lined up by color – red removed from the upper deck, blue from the reserve level, orange from loge and yellow from the field. In a neighboring parking lot, damaged seats are piled high, a mountain of baseball history waiting to be discarded. Fans inspect them like jewelry appraisers looking for the perfect diamond. The seats are authentic, and many show it with dirt, grime, stains and rust. For the shopper, the challenge is to find the right seat. Of course, that changes for each fan – some are looking for the cleanest seats, some are looking for the right number or letter, some just want to have aisle seats. “I’m looking for numbers,” Estrem said. “But I’m also looking for a sturdy one that’s not been trashed too bad.” Estrem focuses on one chair, No. 6 – the number of former first-baseman Steve Garvey. He makes a little room in front of it so he can try it out, then he slides into the seat, just like he was sitting on the third-base line. Schwartz was looking for aisle seats, which have a faceplate at the end with the row’s letter. He spent about 90 minutes picking out his four pairs, looking for just the right ones. He plans to take them apart and powercoat them to make sure they last. He’ll put four seats near his backyard swimming pool, and he wants each end to be an authentic aisle seat so he has own mini-row. “People will think I’m crazy for doing this,” he said. “But once they see those seats in the backyard, they’ll love it.” Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!