I was back at the Big A again just hours after I’d left. I knew that this evening’s activity would be truncated… I had things to take care of at home so I had decided to leave after two innings of play. But that meant I had a full BP session to work with!
I ran out to the seating area in right field as soon as the Home Plate Gate opened up. I was the first one out there and I checked around for Easter eggs but there weren’t any to be found. I focused on the hitters for a few minutes but there just wasn’t anything flyin’ out my way. It’s a shame, too, since the seats were still relatively empty after five to ten minutes:
Soon enough, super-prospect Mike Trout fielded a ball as he was goofing around in right field and I asked him to toss it up. He threw me a strike in the first row of Section 237. It was a standard Selig ball that also had PRACTICE on it… but I was especially psyched to get a ball from Trout since he’s such a highly-touted up-and-comer. Here’s the ball:
A while later I was in almost the same spot when I got a toss-up from pitcher Bobby Cassevah. He threw it to me in the first row at the bottom of the staircase between Section 237 and Section 238. Take note if you’re playing for toss-ups in Anaheim… that first row in either of those sections is the place to be. The Angels just weren’t hitting anything out… I ended up giving that Cassevah ball away to a young fan after batting practice ended.
I tried left field after a while because anyone on the Angels that’s not in the first group of hitters the fans get to see that might be able to hit a ball out is right-handed. My move yielded no additional snags, unfortunately, even though I got close to a couple of screamers down the line. And baseballs seemed juuuuusst out of reach throughout my BP experience.
I headed back to right field for the Rangers portion of BP, waiting for their powerful lefties to connect. The only ball I could get my glove on through their whole BP session was a bomb hit by David Murphy. It was a commemorative ball that I caught on the fly in the sixth row of Section 238. It always feels good to make a snag on the fly–so that picked me up after a rather disappointing eighty minutes of batting practice.
I drank some water, made a few notes, and then headed down to where I knew the Angels would warm up after I got shut out at the Ranger dugout. The coolest thing that happened over there was that, as the Angels were stretching, someone in Howie Kendrick’s family was in the nearby seats and brought Howie’s son down to see his dad. Howie picked him up from the first row and let him run around on the field a bit before the little tyke started playing catch with his dad. Well, it was more like fetch… because the kid was too small to actually catch the ball that was getting tossed to him…
But that boy can throw! I was impressed… that toddler has a better arm than some adults I know… and he appears to be (at this point) ambidextrous. He was throwing strikes to his dad with both arms! It was a pretty heartwarming experience… when the Angels were done throwing I didn’t snag another ball from any of them.
I wanted to play for third out balls… so I ran back and forth for two innings but came up empty. I left after the bottom of the second, still on three baseballs snagged for the day. I didn’t miss much of a game… the Angels lost (when you’re playing guys like Effren Navarro and Gil Valesquez, it’s clearly not that big of a deal to win) and the Rangers secured home field advantage in the playoffs… and I watched the game end from the comfort of my couch.
I had an afternoon game to go to the next day.