After losing two of three to the Rays I was hoping that the Angels could keep some playoff hopes alive by beating up on the Orioles. It was a cool Saturday afternoon in Anaheim, and my sister-in-law and her boyfriend would be meeting Michelle and I at the game.
This was also a way for us to relax before the big move. Michelle and I would be moving out of Irvine to a new apartment the very next day…
When the gates opened I ran in and set up shop in right field. I was hoping to catch a homer on the fly for my first baseball of the evening but I settled for a ball from new reliever, Jordan Walden. BP regular Devin had a ball glance off his glove and fall back to the field… I happened to be nearby and asked Walden if he could spare it. He could–and I was on the board.
The ball was in really great shape. There were just two marks on it. One brown spot from where it hit the warning track after the miscue in the stands and this:
Bleh… a big ol’ PRACTICE stamp.
I went down to the corner in right for the remaining portion of Angels BP. And didn’t catch a darn thing. But here’s a photo of Walden, who throws 99 MPH, by the way.
The Orioles came out to throw and I watched them from field level as the Angels finished up their portion of batting practice.
After a few minutes of nothing slicing toward me down the line I headed back upstairs, knowing that a couple of their lefties hit the ball pretty well. But the next ball I caught was thrown, too, by Alan Dunn. His throw was a little off, and I had to barehand it since it was heading to my right a bit but I made the catch leaning over the wall in the spot shown below:
And the ball had a pretty neat-looking mark on the logo:
Before BP ended I had noticed a ball that got hit to deep right field, hit the wall… and stayed there. Can you see it?
How ’bout now?
It got stuck on the bottom of the scoreboard… I’d never seen that before.
Anyway, that was it for batting practice. I was a bit frustrated… I didn’t even get anything at the O’s dugout. So, I chatted with my group (who’d all arrived by that point) and we walked over and found a place to sit down over third base as the Angels came out to throw.
Peter Bourjos and Erick Aybar ended up with baseballs after they were done throwing… and when Bourjos threw his to someone a section away I turned my attention to Aybar. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw a baseball floating through the air. I wasn’t hallucinating… no, remember that in a previous post I mentioned that Bourjos and Howie Kendrick like to end their warmups by throwing knuckleballs to each other? Well, a knuckler came flying in toward me–I pivoted, threw my glove up, and caught it… and looked to the field (to my left) to see Howie Kendrick there–he must have had another baseball in his pocket.
Another interesting mark. Thanks, Howie!
I went back to the group again and we decided to watch the first inning or two from the seats we’d found, then get dinner, then head up to the view level (in potential foul ball seating).
I made an attempt to get a third out ball after the first inning but failed… and then we all grabbed our things, got some grub, and ended up here:
I like these seats because: 1) I snagged my first foul ball just to the left of this section and 2) the row in front of me was empty and in front of that row is a camera well where no one sits. It’s the most empty space around in the upper levels in Angel Stadium.
Well, to make a long story short, the Angels couldn’t score any runs… and the crowd was less than abuzz since the teams involved weren’t heading to the playoffs, and no foul ball came near us… though one ended up about two sections to my left. The score was 5-0 Baltimore by the time they’d batted in the eighth. At least we all got free candy jars as a giveaway item.
We moved down to the lower level:
And I went for a third out toss at the end of the eighth. I made my way down near the Oriole dugout and when Alberto Callaspo grounded out to end the frame I stood up in my seat in the third row. I’d been watching Ty Wigginton all night as Baltimore ran off the field: he wasn’t one of those first-basemen who tossed the ball to the front row… no, he threw the ball a bit deeper, and he seemed to be seeking fans that were on their feet.
Sure enough, I yelled out, “Ty! Right here, man! Ty!” And Wigginton fired the ball to me in the third row as all the little kids filed down to the front. It was a beautiful, rubbed-up gamer. Thanks, Ty!
Well, that made my night right there. I walked back to the group and sat down excitedly, then took a picture of my prize:
The scoreboard told me there were over 43,000 fans at the game but by the ninth inning, down by five–most of them had left. I tried to get something post-game from the O’s but didn’t succeed.
Oh, well… four baseballs, a candy jar, and a night with the family got me charged for the big move.
At home (our new home!), this is how the room looks as I organize my things after a game…
Thanks for reading.