March 11, 2021 at noon
A story about baseball, family, the American Dream, and the fight to turn Los Angeles into a big league city.
Dodger Stadium is an American icon. But the story of how it came to be goes far beyond baseball. The hills that cradle the stadium were once home to three vibrant Mexican American communities. In the early 1950s, those communities were condemned to make way for a utopian public housing project. Then, in a remarkable turn, public housing in the city was defeated amidst a Red Scare conspiracy.
Instead of getting their homes back, the remaining residents saw the city sell their land to Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now LA would be getting a different sort of utopian fantasy — a glittering, ultra-modern stadium.
But before Dodger Stadium could be built, the city would have to face down the neighborhood’s families — including one, the Aréchigas, who refused to yield their home. The ensuing confrontation captivated the nation – and the divisive outcome still echoes through Los Angeles today.
Eric Nusbaum is a writer and former editor at VICE. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, The Daily Beast, Deadspin, and the Best American Sports Writing anthology. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he has also lived and worked in Mexico City, New York, and Seattle. He now lives in Tacoma, Washington and is married to Jenelle Franco, the granddaughter of Clay Huntington and the daughter of Cheryl and Mike Franco. Eric will speak about his sports writing career including his new book: Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between.
As a former Major League pitcher, Bill Krueger has an inspiring story of “Finding Greatness.” An exceptional storyteller, he provides personal leadership insights from the various relationships he built over his career with coaches and business professionals. From these experiences, he shares principles that help successful individuals and teams reach higher and achieve more. Bill is a co-founding partner of 4SeamLeadership and remains highly visible in his role for Root Sports Northwest as a Senior Analyst for Seattle Mariners Baseball.
Bill has come a long way from that skinny kid growing up in McMinnville, Oregon. With little fanfare, Bill entered the University of Portland on a basketball scholarship in 1975 and was a 4-year starting guard. He decided to turn out for baseball his sophomore year and played 3 years of 1st base for the Pilots. After graduation, Bill hoped to extend his baseball career into the professional ranks but had no takers in the 1980 amateur draft. After numerous attempts to land an opportunity via tryouts, Bill received a call from the Class A Medford A’s and was signed as a pitcher in early July. Despite not pitching in college, Bill made a quick assent up the ranks and made it to the Major Leagues with Oakland in April of 1983.
As a left-handed pitcher, Bill played for 13 seasons and was a member of the 1988 World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers. He finished with a 68-66 record and won the American League Pitcher of the Month Award twice. After retiring from Major League Baseball in 1996, Bill became a sports broadcaster for Seattle’s Sportsradio 950 KJR and on television with Root Sports Northwest. He has established himself as an expert baseball analyst.
Bill and his wife Jo were instrumental in establishing the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Cure Autism Now back in 1997. Under their leadership, the NW Chapter became the nation’s first to cross the $1 million mark in funds raised. As parents of an autistic child, they have a personal investment in fundraising to find a cure for autism. Their daughter Chanel is now a graduate from Seattle University Law School! The story of her success in rising from the darkness of autism is one that Bill hopes to share with those parents raising their special needs’ children. Today, Bill is the Director for Individual Philanthropy for NW Center, a non- profit organization focused on supporting kids and adults with disabilities. Bill is a spokesman on the powers of inclusion in the workplace.
Bill has addressed numerous businesses, non-profits, schools and teams on a variety of topics ranging from his leadership presentation on “Finding Greatness in Others” to his rags to riches climb in athletics to the challenges of raising a special needs child. He is an 8 year survivor of sudden cardiac arrest and talks with many groups on the importance of heart health education and heart disease prevention.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and it has made all the difference.”
–Robert Frost (1916)