Originally, I was going to go to the game on the 14th rather than the 15th but I ended up heading to a cool video game event in L.A. instead. To make up for it I convinced Michelle that we should head to this game (where they’d be giving away fedoras) and she agreed.
Also, I was excited to Jim Edmonds play in his first game in Anaheim since he’d left the Angels in a trade in 1999. He’d returned on Monday but hadn’t played since there was a lefty pitching for the Halos.
I arrived to watch the Angels take on the Brewers at 4:45. I ended up very close to the front of the line–there was a pretty busy crowd outside just before the gates opened:
There had been two guys in front of me… the first guy went inside… the second guy had a backpack… that was too large… and instead of stepping to the side he decided to argue with the security dude for a sold minute. I and a few other people started telling him to move so we could go in and he finally did… I grabbed my fedora and jogged up to the pavilion, knowing I probably missed out on a baseball or two.
With no Kendry Morales to hit bombs out to right field, the pavilion is a pretty boring place after the first round of Angels BP. After I didn’t catch anything in the first round I headed down to near the foul pole. After Bobby Abreu takes his hacks he comes out to right field and fields some fly balls that one of the coaches hits to him. When he finished up he tossed the baseball they’d used into the crowd. Me and one other guy were near it–he didn’t have a glove but he was in front of me. The ball deflected off his bare hand and landed at my feet. I grabbed it, then he grabbed for it–and ended up grabbing and crushing my hand. I held onto the ball–then I stood up, looked at him, and he let it go.
“Oh, sorry,” he said and took a step back. I checked out the ball. It was a standard practice ball with a little black stamp–nothing too incredible about it–and I handed it to him.
“Oh… are you sure, man?” I told him I was–he thanked me. I went back to work.
Once the Brewers started hitting I headed back up to the pavilion because I knew Prince Fielder would be hitting. And hit he did… he peppered the stands with baseballs and I couldn’t get my glove on even one of the ten to twelve baseballs he hit up there. Just bad luck–I was either too low or too high in the stands. Luckily, Corey Hart fielded a ball that wasn’t quite a home run and tossed it up to me once he saw my Brewers hat.
During my last trip to PETCO in San Diego I’d seen the Brewers play and some of their BP baseballs are marked with words and phrases… and some are just marking with a boring line through the sweet spot. The ball from Hart was marked with “ANDROID.” A little while later (and two sections over to my right) I got a toss-up from catcher Jonathan Lucroy. The ball was heading to my right so I reached out and over a girl who was eating peanuts (and not paying attention) to snag the ball barehanded.
Note to that girl: don’t sit where there are a bunch of baseballs flying around and focus on peanuts. You will get hit in the head.
That ball said “FIGURE IT OUT” on it. Here they are:
I love it. The players seem to, too. Whenever someone would field a baseball in the outfield I could see them look to see if it had writing on it. Then they’d throw the ball to players near them to share the information before throwing it back to the bucket.
I was at three baseballs as BP ended and I ran down to the dugout. I got shut out there.
Michelle arrived after that and I met her out on the concourse and we grabbed food. We sat down with our barbecue as I noticed two Brewers players emerge from the dugout to play catch–I headed down there but they finished throwing before I made it down the steps. So, I finished my dinner with Michelle and we ended up watching the first few innings from here:
It didn’t take very long for the Angels to fall behind. The Brewers had brought their offense with them to Anaheim, beating the Angels 12-2 on Monday night and on this night the Brew Crew put up two runs in the first and four runs in the second.
The Halos got a run in the eighth inning on doubles by Kevin Frandsen and Maicer Izturis but the Brewers had also put one up in the top half. It wasn’t pretty. 7-1 was the final but the good news was that since Michelle didn’t have to be at work until 11:00am the next day she got to stay for the whole game with me. We headed down near the dugout for the final two innings and she snapped a bunch of pictures:
I told her, “Take picture of Jim Edmonds.” She did:
He went 2-5 that night but in this at-bat he struck out. I’d gotten his autograph earlier in the day… which I was pretty psyched about.
I waited for the players to come in and toss a baseball or two up–one baseball got tossed… somewhere to my left. Despite my old school Brewers colors I got no love from the Crew as they came off the field. I’ve found they are surprisingly stingy–at least on the road. Maybe it’s because their guys hit so many baseballs out of the park. They have to make up for it.
So I ended the night with a below average three baseballs and the Angels lost–badly. It took Ervin Santana those two innings to settle down–and Dave Bush for the Brewers just seemed unhittable. It didn’t seem, to me, like he was doing anything spectacular… but I’m not standing in the box.
We left after that… but not before getting our picture taken in our fashionable stadium giveaway items.
Ooohh… and as it turned out, I’d get to head back to see the Brewers and Angels the very next day, too.