Dodger Stadium Gates to Open Early Today

Dodger Stadium gates to open early today

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Stadium and auto gates at Dodger Stadium will open a half-hour early at 4:40 p.m. today to accommodate the sold-out crowd for the 7:10 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants where the first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance will receive a special edition Kirk Gibson bobblehead.

Members of Gibson's family will throw the ceremonial first pitch and declare, ``It's time for Dodger baseball.''

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the team's official charity, will hold an online auction April 9-30 for 88 limited-edition, Gibson-autographed bobbleheads and the jerseys worn by the Dodgers tonight with proceeds benefiting the Kirk Gibson Foundation, which raises money and awareness for research into Parkinson's disease.

Gibson, who forever earned a spot in baseball and Dodger lore for his two-out, bottom of the ninth inning game-winning home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, was diagnosed with the degenerative disease in 2015.

A fireworks show set to music from the 1960s will follow the game. Fans will be invited onto the field to watch the show, which will take place before 11 p.m. and is subject to cancellation if the game lasts too long.

U.S. Army Sgt. Antinia Francho will be honored as the Military Hero of the Game. Francho joined the Army in 2002 and has deployed three times to Iraq. She is a recipient of the Purple Heart for injuries sustained from a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in 2005. She also received a Bronze Star for her actions as a medic during that deployment.

Francho has been stationed across the United States for the past three years, serving as a drill sergeant. She is stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, considered by experts as one of the world's foremost research, development, testing and training facilities for military weapons and equipment.

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