8/14/10 at Angel Stadium

The day began with an autograph session with Howie Kendrick at an AT&T store in Seal Beach.  Michelle and I each got him twice, and I knew I’d be giving one baseball I had signed away to a friend of mine who works for a charity to fight Huntington’s Disease.
kendrick signing 8.14.JPGHowie was very nice in person and I really liked his shoes… we chatted about them for a minute as he signed my second autograph.  Thanks, Howie!

joe in camaro.JPGWe ended up with free tickets to this game thanks to Michelle’s uncle, Joe, who met us in Irvine with his son and then we all drove to the game together nice and early for batting practice.

When we arrived (and got to park in super-close Diamond Parking) there were booths being set up for an animal adoption event and for Chevy.  As it turns out, if you test drove a Chevy you got swag… including vouchers for Angels tickets.  I was all over it–so was Joe.  And he drove the new Camaro–it was pretty sweet.  I ended up with a cap, a keychain, and two Angels tickets.  Score!  It was almost time for the gates to open:
8.14 outside stadium.jpgThey all decided to check out the animal adoption booths (which you can see to the right in the above photo) while I headed in for BP.  My first ball on the day was a scoop off the warning track.  Kendrick sliced one that bounced on the grass near the foul pole and I was able to jump out over the wall and snag it as it rolled by.  It had the word “PRACTICE” stamped on the sweet spot.  Bleh.

I headed up to the pavilion after that and got my next baseball from Mike Napoli.  Nap blasted one to right-center and I ran across half a section, down to the front row and reached out over the wall to catch it on the fly.  Here’s the spot where I caught it:
spot of napoli catch.JPGThe kids in that photo were pretty excited on my behalf… they hadn’t even seen the ball coming and I snagged it three feet to the left of the smaller boy.  It was a pretty nice snowcone catch–again, the ball had a practice stamp.

That was it for Angels BP.  For the Blue Jays, I played the area behind the bullpens in left field.
8.14 behind bullpens.JPGI knew there was a lot of right-handed pop in the Toronto lineup and I hoped that they’d knock a few out that far.  Most of the home runs they hit went into the bullpens–but thanks to Casey Janssen, a SoCal native who was talking to the woman in the red shirt in the above photo, I got Ball #3 on the day.  A Blue Jay righty (I don’t know who) smacked one toward the bullpen.  I yelled to Janssen, who was in the ‘pen, “Heads up!”  He turned, found the ball as it descended, and caught it.  He’d already given one to the lady he was talking to so, as a way of saying thanks to me for warning him, he flipped me the ball.  The toss-up was, if my records are correct, my 100th ball of 2010!  Many thanks to Mr. Janssen.  BP kind of died after Jose Bautista, Vernon Wells, and Aaron Hill hit.  I spent the last round in right field–but didn’t snag anything there.

I ran down toward the dugout, passing Michelle and her family in the process (they’d been hanging out in some shaded seats for the end of BP) and when I got to the Blue Jay dugout I got Ball #4 from John MacDonald as he headed into th dugout.  It had a cool black smudge on it.

The rest of my party moved to our ticketed seats after that and I continued to hang out near the field for Blue Jays warm-up throwing–but I didn’t snag another ball there so I sat down with the rest of the family.  Remember how I said they were awesome seats?  This was our view:
view from our seats.JPGBAM!  So cool!  And we were on the aisle.  I told Joe, “These are the seats I have to sneak down to when Michelle and I usually come to games here.”  He’d gotten them from someone at his work–so thanks to Joe and the folks he works with!

That’s Mike Napoli scoring on a two-run home run by Hideki Matsui.  That was in the second inning so the Halos were off to a good start!  I was thrilled to be in great seats that were actually OURS!

I took some photos of the action:
8.14 hunter ab.JPGcallaspo and abreu on base.JPGAnd of my 100th ball of the season, held up over the spot where I snagged it:
100th 2010 ball.JPGAnd it was 5-0 after four innings.  The Angels would
go on to win, 7-2.

Janssen got into the game that night:
janssen 8.14.JPGHe pitched a scoreless inning.  Good for him!

And Bobby Wilson, our backup catcher, ended up with two home runs and five RBIs on the night!  Wow!  It was a good atmosphere, pleasant company, and a great game to watch.

In the ninth inning I positioned myself right over the Blue Jay dugout and as the Jays retreated into the dugout someone (I think it was Shaun Marcum) flipped a ball up over the dugout unexpectedly.  I didn’t catch it in my glove… I caught it with my glove, pinning it against my chest… luckily it didn’t hurt and that gave me five baseballs on the night.  A pretty good haul–after we left the stadium we treated Joe and his son, Joey, to frozen yogurt at our favorite place and then they were on their way back home.

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2 comments

  1. bloggingboutbaseball

    KEVIN – The seats were great! Brian Fuentes always made me nervous so I’m glad he’s gone. He did a fine job, but I’d rather have a fireballer throwing for the Angels in the ninth–Fernando Rodney should get the first crack at saves from here on out.

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