There’s a lot that I can say about this game that could bring people who read this entry a lot of sadness based on events that occurred after the game was played. I’ll save that for another time. For now, here’s how my second game of the season went:
At Wednesday evening’s game between the A’s and Angels I was joined by Randy, a friend I know through UC Irvine. He is from Ohio originally and is a big Indians fan. After I dropped him off at the end of the night I realized I hadn’t snapped any photos of him… or me… at the game. Weird. I did take a lot of pictures though. You’ll see…
We left at about 4:15pm and got to the stadium before it opened. Randy had never been to Angel Stadium of Anaheim so I told him I’d give him a grand tour after the game started. But first, batting practice. The Angels were hitting and the wind was blowing in and toward left field so I told Randy that we should leave the right field pavilion for later when the A’s were up (because the Angels were starting a righty, a twenty-two year-old top prospect, Nick Adenhart) and their strong lefties were hitting. We hung around the foul pole in right field. It was a small crowd but not many balls came toward us. Jeff Mathis tossed a couple to kids but we (in our mid-twenties) were gettin’ no love!
After we headed up to the pavilion in right a few baseballs trickled to the spot we’d just left… it was that kind of BP. At about 6:15pm we were both still empty-handed and I was losing hope. Then things got interesting. At the game on the 7th I had seen a young boy fielding balls for the A’s during BP. Here’s a pic from that game (the little boy is on the far right in a green sweatshirt):
At this game I noticed the same kid running around, fielding balls, having a blast, and he had a friend with him. I figured they were sons or little brothers of a player. I still don’t know for sure. Anyone have any idea? Maybe an Oakland fan that knows of two kids that occasionally take the field for BP? Anyway, as batting practice ended and I jogged (with Randy in tow) to the visiting team’s dugout I still hadn’t snagged a baseball. The players headed in and I didn’t get one. Then, these two kids came, strolling and chatting, toward the dugout. I had my A’s hat on so I stood up about three rows behind the dugout and got their attention… they each had a ball tucked in their glove. “Hey, could you spare a ball, please?” I yelled. The two kids looked at each other, then looked into their gloves. One boy, in a red sweatshirt, gestured to the boy in green I’d seen the day prior as if to say, “You can throw him yours… but I’m keepin’ mine.” Well, I guess it was my lucky day because the kid in green shrugged, pointed to me, and lobbed it right into my glove. I thanked him and the two kids headed down into the dugout. Lucky kids! Lucky me!
I wanted Randy to snag a baseball, too… he had told me that he’d gotten one years ago when he was much younger. A few Oakland players started throwing in shallow right field. When Mark Ellis and Eric Chavez were done, Ellis tossed his a few sections away from us (and I would later get him to autograph a ticket stub for me), but when Rajai Davis and Travis Buck finished throwing, Davis kept the ball and headed toward us. I stood up and called out to him. He saw me, pointed, and threw the ball from about thirty feet away. He’s an outfielder, so maybe he’s not used to short throws… this one sailed five feet over my head (even though I jumped as high as I could). Randy was sitting behind me and I turned just in time to see the ball pop off his bare hand! It bounced into the seat in front of him. Here it gets a bit odd. The ball landed between the armrest of the seat in front of Randy and the shoulder or a kid! The kid’s dad, sitting on the other side of him, had seen the ball thrown and I figured that he or his kid would simply grab it. It was literally touching the kid’s arm. No one, not me, the kid, the dad, or Randy had claimed the ball. At that point I figured the kid would want it. The dad said to me, “Guess you’re just not tall enough,” in a cheerful manner. Ten seconds passed… so I picked up the ball and sat down next to Randy. We both were kind of shocked. I told him, “Here, do you want it? It hit off your hand.” He said I should keep it because it had been thrown to me. I decided I would count it in my collection because nobody else had actually held the ball. Never had a non-player thrown me a ball and never had a weird situation like that one happened to me at a game.
Two baseballs–cool! Numbers 32 and 33 in my collection!
So, there we were, behind the visitor’s dugout. I told Randy we’d go on a tour as soon as we got kicked out of the section. Turns out… that never happened. We watched the whole first half of the game from the third row! Check it out:
By the sixth inning we were hungry and wanted to look around so we voluntarily left, knowing we’d probably not make it back down. After a quick stop at the the restroom we were off on our tour which included a stop at the Beach Pit BBQ stand out behind the rocks in center field. We both got pulled pork sandwiches and they were fantastic!
After a lap around the Terrace Level we headed up to View. Our actual seats were somewhere in Lower View in right field… we never sat in ’em. Instead we watched an inning from right behind home plate:
And lastly, we headed back toward the infield for the end of the game… what an end. By the way, our vacated seats from the beginning of the game were still open! Man, it was a great view of the late action!
Adenhart left with a 4-0 lead after six innings. The bullpen choked for the second straight night, however, as Arredondo gave up a run, Shields gave up two, and our new closer, Brian Fuentes gave up three runs in the ninth!
I was livid… and the Angels couldn’t score in the bottom of the ninth. I had hoped to show Randy what happened when the Angels won… but the Big A would not “light up the Halo” on that night.
We had a lot of fun and I had a good time walking around the stadium… I’m there so much that I take for granted how much cool stuff there is to do there.
Two games this season… five baseballs! My next game probably will be when the Tigers are in town in a couple weeks. Thanks for reading!