Vin Scully took the microphone from Dodger Stadium field, as he's done so many times before, but this pre-game theme was so incredibly different: "And now, it's time for ... NHL hockey!"
And so it began, the NHL's Stadium Series event between the Kings and Ducks on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 54,009.
It was an awesome start to the event before the event.
Scully and Bob Miller, Hall of Fame broadcasters, came together for this special event under the Saturday night lights.
Baseball and hockey were partners for a day, creating a sports lover's playground at Dodger Stadium.
Kiss had a concert, complete with fire and wagging tongues, in right field. Hired folks were playing beach volleyball in left field. Kids were given equipment and played street hockey over the infield. And then, of course, there was the center-stage hockey game, with Ducks winning 3-0.
The score and blocked views weren't the story. Dodger Stadium played host to the first outdoor NHL game in California history, and the event didn't disappoint.
Ducks and Kings players walked the Kings' black carpet through palm trees in center field, and Wayne Gretzky followed, casually walking with one hand in his black suit pants pocket and another waving as though he'd walked this runway before.
"Welcome the boys of winter to the place where dreams come true," Scully told a raucous crowd.
Winter was a term used loosely as these games are known as "winter classics." The only snow was the fake variety falling on the JumboTron. It was 77 degrees in Los Angeles during the day, making for tough condition to keep ice icy.
"It's a little warm," Kings' center Jarret Stoll said in a television interview between periods. "There's a little breeze in there. The puck is bouncing a little. It's a little bit harder to handle the puck. You just have to be a little smarter and more focused."
Paul Stanley of Kiss was focused as an Arena League owner and was pumping $99 season tickets for football during the intermission. John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting -- can you tell he's a big hockey fan? -- performed between the second and third periods.
During the second period, Kings winger Kyle Clifford and Ducks winger Tim Jackman got into a scrap, and got a standing ovation from fans. They were each assessed penalties, of course, of five minutes for fighting.
Before the game, celebrities and baseball folks walked the red carpet in the Dodger Dugout Club.
Tommy Lasorda wasn't sitting in his usual seat near the Dodger dugout, because from that angle he wouldn't have been able to see much.
"The pope has been here, the Beattles have been here and now hockey," Lasorda said. "Nobody would ever think it."
You can tell Lasorda hasn't walked many a red carpet. When photographers asked Lasorda to move closer to the backdrop, he kept asking why he had to move. They were trying to explain the lighting was better there, but Lasorda -- as he did when he managed the Dodgers -- dug in his heels and was happy to stay right where he was for photos.
The best red carpet moment was Gretzky and Fernando Valenzuela meeting for the first time. That was cool. The two shook hands and posed for photos.
"It's great to see all the fans, and it's louder than I anticipated," Stoll said.
Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig was expected to be on the red carpet, but he showed up just as the puck was dropping at 7:15 p.m. He was fashionably late and seems to have this L.A. thing down.
We know he probably wasn't speeding, since there was reportedly heavy traffic around the stadium before the game. And yet, the stadium was nearly full when the puck dropped, a switch from the late-arriving Dodgers crowd. Now he knows what late Dodgers fans experience around Stadium Way.
Cuba Gooding Jr. sped through the red carpet and just stopped for a couple of photos. Gooding Jr. is probably one of the biggest hockey fans, and he plays the sport, so that was perplexing. Maybe he was nervous.
Dodgers set-up man Brian Wilson was in the house with his beard in full playoff mode. He knows a thing or two about hockey since he played it as a kid in Massachusetts. He played the outdoor kind, not the indoor kind. He said indoor hockey started too early.
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf must've been a littler nervous when he was interviewed after the second period on the stadium's public address system. He was booed mercilessly and surely couldn't hear himself think.
After that, Ondrasik of Five for Fighting performed where home plate usually is set. He wore a Luc Robitaille jersey, a good friend of his, and is a big Kings fan. He has written for the Kings' Web site.
"Well, that was fun," Ondrasik Tweeted.
PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson -- who is engaged to Paulina Gretzky, daughter of Wayne -- was sitting rinkside with the Gretzky contingent for opening ceremonies.
Robitaille, Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune fame, Olympian Kerri Walsh-Jennings and so many others were on hand for the event.
Sajak is a big hockey fan and has been to most of the winter classic games, he said.
"I may be the one fan who has seen one game at Fenway Park, and it was a hockey game," Sajak said.
Dodgers broadcaster Nomar Garciaparra was here, too.
"I was thinking they're playing right where I took ground balls," Garciaparra said. "And the next thing I was thinking was that I hope they don't mess up the field."
On the contrary.
There was much in the way of fanfare, celebrities and atmosphere.
It was time for ... hockey. And the NHL and Dodger Stadium delivered.
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