LOS ANGELES — It should be Dodger Purple by now. The bruises have accumulated for decades.
Mike Piazza got traded. Fox, and then Frank McCourt, bought a golden franchise and used it to scrape dirt off their shoes. The McCourt Divorce chased RBIs and strikeouts off the sports page. The intricate strategy of getting in and out of Dodger Stadium, inspired by Dunkirk, has gotten no easier. Inside, the $14 beer is now offered without remorse. The stadium itself has become a hyperactive migraine machine. It squelches all hopes of conversation.
And now that the Dodgers have become a tornado-spewing earthquake of winning, they still are invisible for a majority of the TV viewers.
Why should anyone care?
In a suite just west of downtown, Alex Soto and Desiree Garcia don’t have time to answer. They sit beside each other and they look into their terminals and they handle the flood of requests for merchandise, for tickets, for information on the next Dodger trip, sometimes for signs of life and companionship.
They provide the place to find the true color. Officially, it is Pantone 294.
It is a Dodgers fan group that was already thriving when Soto, in the shower, thought about a name and wondered what the exact shade of Dodger Blue was named. He hopped out, started Googling, and found Pantone 294.
Back then, Soto was selling Pantone 294 merchandise out of his garage in Huntington Park. He had been laid off from his job as an industrial engineer. Garcia was working in human resources. They envisioned a day when they could work for themselves and somehow get involved with the team Soto used to watch from the outfield pavilion.
Social media, to an extent that Soto and Garcia are grasping to understand, has been the avenue.
“It’s more than sitting in the seats,” Garcia said. “We’re engaging people. We want to turn this into friends and family. They come by here to pick up tickets and merchandise. We’re here all the time, and they bring us sandwiches. Someone dropped off a PlayStation 4. It’s amazing how it comes together.”
Pantone 294 has amazed on two recent occasions.
In September, 1,300 members traveled on seven chartered planes and stayed in three hotels and two yachts to plan an invasion of Yankee Stadium. It populated the left-field seats and managed to hoist its trademark “LA” logo banner, and it generally out-noised the Yankee fans. Manager Dave Roberts even visited the sections afterward.
Then two months ago, Pantone 294 disciples…