Favorite Baseball Moments/Photos of 2008

As an end of year recap, here are some of the most fun/coolest things I got to do/witness this baseball season (I’ll try to go chronologically):

  • Exhibition game – Dodgers vs. Red Sox

Winter and Spring 2008 042.jpgWhat?  Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles???  WHOA!  I went with my buddy, Josh, to see this game in late March.  This one was played at Dodger Stadium (not the Coliseum, though that would have been fun to see).  And at that point in time who’d have thought that Man Ram would be taking an extended vacation to L.A. in the middle of summer?  It was a lot of fun.

  • My name on a brick at Angel Stadium!

Winter and Spring 2008 062.jpgIt was a Christmas present from my mom last year (Christmas ’07) and came as a total surprise!  I didn’t get to see it until April… but there it was, just to the first base-side of the pitcher’s mound out in front of the Home Plate Gate.  In case you’re curious, Dr. Ivar Vasco is my uncle–also a big fan–and he’s started MY Angels fandom when he took me to games as a kid.  Also, note the exclamation point after my name… totally my mom’s doing.  I was shocked, but I guess I do get excited about games!

  • Getting to tour Angel Stadium!

Winter and Spring 2008 106.jpgAs part of the preparation for Take Me Out, a show we just did at UC Irvine, I organized a tour for the director and design team to see a real baseball stadium and clubhouse, etc.  In the above photo, I’m sitting with our lighting designer, Adam, in the Angels’ dugout!  I was thrilled to get to go behind the scenes and see a lot of cool stuff.  The tour included a walkthrough of the visitor’s clubhouse, indoor batting cage, suites, dugout, press conference room, and TV and radio broadcast areas!  A lot of stadiums do this… it just costs money.  Still, for any fan I think it’s totally worth it!

  • Baseball with Michelle and friends!

Summer 2008 017.jpgThis happened a couple of times, with dirrerent friends each time… In June, Michelle and I went to a game with our firends, Darcy and Dennis (the above photo).  It was great getting to share the excitement of a game with people… it makes it that much more enjoyable.  And we got “rally sticks” or something… it was a giveaway.  The Angels lost to the Mets, 4-5.  We basically just ended up hitting each other with the foam rally things all through the game.

Midwest 090.jpgOn an August trip that spanned four states in the Midwest, Michelle and I took a trip to see the White Sox play the Royals at U.S. Cellular Field.  It’s always fun to take in a new ballpark we had a great time… with seats in foul ball range!  Sadly, I didn’t catch a foul ball and I didn’t get a ball during batting practice either… thankfully, in the 8th inning Ross Gload tossed me a ball behind the visitor’s dugout as he came off the field.  And Michelle saw it!  We had a great time at the game and it was a good way to relax on our mini-vacation over the summer.

STA72911.JPGI wrote a whole entry about this magical place in Iowa where you can play on the field from the Kevin Costner movie.  Michelle and I went (and took Helen along) and had a good time… I even played a pick-up game with some families that were already there.  I’ll let you read the entry for yourselves.

  • Lots o’ September baseball!

matt on mlblogs.jpgautos_0001.jpgI tried to cram in as much baseball as I could in September because I knew that school would be starting and baseball would be over within a few short weeks.  AND my blog got featured on the MLBlogs home page!  I went to seven games that month, caught seven balls at one game (on the 11th of September – Angels/Mariners) got some nifty autographs, saw Frankie Rodriguez tie AND break the single season saves record, met Zack Hample, and did all this at three different stadiums.  Plus, I got to meet Mike Scioscia and Howie Kendrick.  Woo!  Good times.

  • Stage managing Take Me Out at UC Irvine

TMO Photo Call 012.jpgIn October and November we rehearsed a play at my school U
CI.  It’s called Take Me Out and it’s about baseball… as part of the rehearsal process the whole company played catch and talked about baseball trivia… so it was kind of like the season was extended a bit.  The photo shows our set and some of the lighting… looks like a clubhouse, eh?

It was a great year of baseball and I’m sure next year will be great as well.  I love to share my passion for baseball with Michelle and any friends that care to tag along.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip down memory lane.  Happy Holidays!

Oh, and PS…
young matt at angels game.jpg
I found this picture in a box at my mom’s place last month.  Best I can tell it was taken by my uncle, Ivar, at Angel Stadium during a game against the White Sox… a day game.  It looks like the batter is being walked intentionally.  The umpire behind the plate is wearing #33.  And look at those uniforms and logos… and I’m about ten or eleven in this photo.  I’m going to guess this is in 1994.  Anyone have any ideas?  I’d like to figure out when this was shot…  thanks in advance!

UPDATE: I believe that the catcher in the photo is Mike LaValliere… based on the letters I can see.  He played for the White Sox from 1993 to 1995 and he only played in 142 games in that three year period.  Gettin’ closer.



  1. Elizabeth D.

    Glad I found your blog from the featured blog on the front page (it’s quite helpful). Sounds like you had a great year in baseball… that exhibition game sounds fun, believe me I didn’t think Manny would be in any other uniform! Cool that you got to take a tour of the stadium, and meet Zack Hample as well plus Scioscia and Kendrick.

  2. juliasrants

    What a great year you had! I’m jealous that you went to the “Field of Dreams”! Any chance of posting some video from the play at school? And who knew that Manny would end of with the Dodgers when you saw them play the Red Sox in preseason. Here’s to another great season and more happy blogging!


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