Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d been doing plenty of stuff in that time… you know, getting married, moving my wife in, going on a Caribbean honeymoon cruise, etc. !!!
It was our first baseball game as a married couple… Awwwww… and, yes, that’s a Darth Vader shirt I’m wearing. I’m a nerd.
It felt great to be heading out to the Big A again. Tonight, my Angels were takin’ on the red hot Rockies… and Michelle and I got to the stadium at about 4:30pm for the 7:05 start. I guess you could say I was a little anxious. We parked, quickly walked through the lot and around to the Home Plate Gate, and here was the view when we arrived:
Cool! First in line… it was a sunny afternoon, but not too warm… and at 5:00pm the gates opened and I was off to the races. I still run out to the outfield every time I’m at BP. I’ve yet to find an Easter egg in Anaheim. Are there ever any out there?
Before I get into the details of the day any further I’d also like to mention that this was my first game with my fancy new camera: a Fujifilm FinePix S5700. It was a wedding present from Michelle and it’s awesome. I was out in right field and I saw Michelle way over along the first base side in the Terrace Level:
She’s eating chips in the photo, by the way.
BP was underway… it took a while but my first ball of the day came in the last round of Angels BP. I’d been up in the pavillion seats but for the last round (as no serious poer threats were hacking) I headed down near the foul pole in right. Gary Matthews Jr. took some swings from the left side (as a righty was pitching for the Rockies that night) and he launched one that I knew was going to be a homer. I was near the wall and I saw the ball fly off the bat, took off across a section, up five rows and looked up just in time to see the ball fly right in line with the SoCal afternoon sun… even with sunglasses on and my cap brim low I lost it in the light but I kept moving to where I thought it would land. I just hoped it wouldn’t smash down onto my skull… what a bummer that would be.
As it turns out, I had tracked its trajectory pretty well. The ball landed in about the 10th row… just a few up from where I was… it bounced off some seats and along a row. I hopped over some seats and nabbed it. My first ball of the day and my thirtieth of the season! I labeled with a 30–oops! It was my 58th career ball–I was just so excited to have met my goal I set back in this entry from October of ’08. Thirty may not be a big deal to seasoned ballhawks out there… but remember, I’m still in my first full season of ballhawking. I got in two months last year, but by MLB standards, I’m still a rookie.
The Rockies had come out and started stretching and the Angels finished hitting so I headed back up to the pavillion, now clad in a Rockies cap. I knew the lefty big boppers (Stewart, Hawpe, Helton) would be hitting and I was hoping to catch at least one homer on the fly.
After a few minutes, bullpen coach Jim Wright threw a baseball up to a girl in a Rockies jersey, then looked up for another person he could toss one to (he shook off a guy in an Angels hat, gesturing to his own jersey) and I waved. He noticed my cap and tossed up my second ball of the day. I didn’t even have to ask!
The Rockies were launching quite a few into the seats but BP had also gotten pretty crowded by that point.
Eventually, I was standing in the second row (over the ‘N’ in SPONGETECH) and a Rockies batter smashed a line drive toward the pavillion, I could tell it had a chance to make it out over that 18 ft. wall so I ran out of my row, down the aisle and cut across the first row to just about over the ‘LIGHT” of BUD LIGHT. I reached out and made a backhanded catch just in front of the wall (and in front of that guy in the red shirt (who hadn’t even seen the ball). In reality, I don’t think it really would’ve been a home run. Probably, it would have just hit off the top of the wall. Anyway, I got a few compliments on that snag and I felt good about it… it felt great to catch one in the air.
That would be my last snag of the game, however. I was fine with it. I was up to my average and I was happy to just watch the game with Michelle, eat, and play with my new camera.
Brad Hawpe connected with a pitch and knocked a three-run blast to right field just a fraction of a second before I snapped this photo:
Man, the Angels got killed… it ended up being 11-1. The Rockies pitchers only allowed three hits
, one was a homer by Kendry Morales. Here’s Morales as he touched home plate.
We had a pretty good time and by the seventh inning stretch most of the fans started to leave so Michelle and I headed down to just behind the Rockies dugout for the final innings. She took a few shots of me heading down to the dugout after the final out was recorded.
I came away empty handed:
But three more snags for the season total and I was glad to be in a stadium again.
I’m planning to be at at least one of the Angels/Orioles games next week and I’ll probably be there for a Rangers/Angels game, too.