3/27/11 at Angel Stadium

This would be quite the full day.

It started with me (and Michelle) waking up at the crack of dawn and heading up to the stadium.  March 27th was the day of the Angels 5k and Fun Run at the stadium.  I’s signed up at the beginning of the month for the 5k and I’d been training for it for a couple of weeks.  I’ve always enjoyed running and wanted to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself.  We arrived at ten minutes to seven and Michelle decided she would stay in the car while I ran.  I couldn’t blame her–it was early and the weather was less than ideal.  There was rain in the forecast and I was just hoping to get through the run before it got too wet.

I started about 500 people back and, though I can’t show you through pictures (because I was running), there were easily four times that many people there.  I had a clip-on transmitter on my shoe that would track my time–as I crossed the starting line the clock already had counted up to about a minute… and when I crossed the second checkpoint (at the halfway mark) the clock was around 16 minutes… and when I approached the finish line the clock was ticking up toward 30 minutes.  I crossed the line at 30:03… my goal had been to come in under 30 minutes and since I knew I could easily take a minute off my time (based on how long it took to get up to the starting line) I was thrilled!

I drank some water, got a free hat and a Clif bar, and headed back over to the car to find my wife.  When I got there she took a photo of me post race:
post 5k run.JPGOh, yes… I grew a beard over the off-season.  It has since been shaved off… sorry to scare you there, readers.

At that point it was about 7:45am and Angels FanFest was set to open up at 8:00… but I’d promised Michelle coffee and, quite frankly, I needed a rest.  We headed to Starbucks–I changed clothes once we got there–we got breakfast and waited for the rain to pass… it had started drizzling right when I got back to the car after the race.

At around 9:30 we headed back to the stadium for FanFest.  It was a bunch of vendors, autograph stations, merchandise booths, and photo ops.  We each got autographs from Chris Pettit and Andrew Romine and then we stood in a long line to get Hank Conger’s autograph:
autograph line 3.27.JPGWhile we were there we noticed you could get your photo taken with the Rally Monkey:
rally monkey rubcube 3.27.JPGSo we stood in that line, too, and got this picture:
mandmwithrallymonkey1.JPG–which I was kind of disappointed in once I saw it.  I mean, we’re like six feet from the monkey!  C’mon!  At least we look cute.  That monkey is licking the mini bat at this point, I think.

Anyway, we left FanFest after an hour or so–and went to get snacks for the game that afternoon.  We’d need to be back by noon to get free parking for the game and, sadly, we found out once we were back with our snacks that the gates wouldn’t open until 1:00.  Bah!

So I ran inside at 1:00 to see the Padres on the field taking BP:
first view of field 3.27.jpgAnd after a few minutes I convinced someone wearing number 95 on the Padres to toss me a baseball–I was on the board for the day.  Here’s the guy who threw it (left) and the spot where I caught it (right):
padre 95 1.JPGwhere i caught the first ball 3.27.JPGWhile I took those photos I heard someone yell, “Comin’ in!” and I looked up, then to my right as a ball smacked off a seat ten feet away from me… surprising since a righty was up to bat.

Well, I ran over and snagged that ball for my second ball on the afternoon.  It was hit by this guy:
righty padre 1.JPGrighty padre 2.JPGAny ideas?  Let me know…

spot of 2nd ball 3.27.JPGWell, here’s the spot where I grabbed my second ball of the day–and the only one that got hit up to the pavilion while I was there.  And that was pretty much it for BP.  Not bad–two baseballs in about 30 seconds.  I only had about 15 minutes of batting practice to work with so I can’t
complain.

I met up with Michelle and hung out with her for a bit–and then headed toward the Angel dugout when they came out for pregame throwing.  It was nice to see the field up close.
third base panorama pregame 3.27.jpgI got shut out there but I went to the Padre dugout after that and got my third baseball of the day thrown to me by Logan Forsythe near the camera well.

And then we enjoyed the game from right behind the Padre dugout:
haren izturis leg kick.JPGHa–they’re both kicking their leg…

Eventually, the folks who actually had those seats arrived and we relocated to the outfield with this view:
home run seats 3.27.JPGI was hoping to get a home run but the only homers hit this day would go to center field.  Bummer.

Toward the end of the game, with the score 9-2 Angels we moved here:
first base panorama 3.27.jpgAnd as the Angels wrapped up the victory I got behind the Padre dugout to try to snag a postgame baseball… but all the Padres went into the dugout without tossin’ up a thing… except for the last player to leave the field.  A short, Latino pitcher from the bullpen who I later identified as Samuel Deduno tossed me a rubbed up baseball as he headed down the steps for my fourth baseball on the afternoon.

And, though it took him several tries, a nice, elderly usher took a photo of Michelle and I as we left the park.
mandmpostgame.JPGIt had been a long day–lots of running–and we were both exhausted.
4 baseballs 3.27.JPG
Not a bad start to the season,,. a good run, four baseballs, three autographs, some swag from FanFest, an Angels win, and a lot of fun.

And later that night I checked online to see my official results from the 5k… I came in at 28:46, not fantastic, but I ran faster than I expected!  It would be over a week before my next game, with the Angels heading out on the road.  I was anxious for them to get back because I knew that when they did return they’d be using commemorative baseballs and hopefully some of those would have found their way into the BP buckets…

My next game would be on April 9th.  More to come soon, loyal readers, and happy 2011 baseball season to all of you.

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5 comments

  1. m_kemp_27

    Hey Matt,
    I think that player that hit it is Ryan Ludwick….
    about 75% sure, looks like him, and he’s pretty tall, (Like Ludwick)
    Besides that, Nice run time 🙂

  2. bloggingboutbaseball

    M_KEMP_27 – Thanks, dude. Have you been to any games yet this year? Hope to see you around!

  3. m_kemp_27

    Ahh not yet 😦
    I’ve been busy, we’ll see.
    I have tickets for July 20 against the Rangers….
    And seeing if I can get in a Seattle game. 🙂

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