Well, now that the 2012 season is upon us I guess I can finally put up my final blog entry from the 2011 season. I know… it makes perfect sense.
Angels and Rangers on the final day of the 2011 regular season. Truthfully, neither side had anything to prove. At the time of this 4:05pm game, the Rangers were in and the Angels were not. The Rangers had clearly been the better team all season… much to my chagrin. Nevertheless, I was back at the stadium promptly as the gates were preparing to open. After another round of catch with Greg (while his dad held our spot in line), we were off to the races again. I headed for right field where this was my view:
Since the gates only opened 90 minutes prior to the first pitch, we didn’t get to see the Angels hitting–but as the Rangers took their hacks I got my first ball of the day, a commemorative Angels ball, from reliever Mike Adams.
I ran to the dugout but didn’t snag anything else there. During the lull between the end of BP and the start of pre-game throwing I got some water and rested. Then, I chatted with some other ballhawks and took a few photos. Around 3:30, the players finally emerged for their warmups. I stood in the fourth row on the aisle and ended up getting a ball thrown to me by Mike Trout for the second consecutive day!
While the Rangers started all of their regulars, the Angels lineup featured several backups (Mike Trout, Bobby Wilson) and some minor league callups (Gil Velazquez, Efren Navarro, Jeremy Moore).
Garrett Richards started for the Halos and did a great job. He gave up only two hits but one of them happened to be a second inning solo homer by Mike Napoli (who continued to hurt the Angels each time he faced them throughout 2011). The Angels came back to tie it in the 5th on a sac fly from Velazquez. The Angels’ bullpen kept the game tied while I switched from dugout to dugout trying for third out baseballs. And I kept snapping photos throughout… like Peter Bourjos bunting:
Despite my efforts, I was stuck on three throughout the game and I would end the 2011 season with 385 total baseballs.
And the Angels couldn’t score in the ninth. They were swept in three games by the Rangers on their own turf.
Now–recovering from the Angels loss was easy–securing a post-game freebie from their dugout wasn’t. Even though several baseballs, batting gloves, and even a couple bats came up over the dugout roof, I couldn’t get my hands on anything. Later, I found out Greg’s dad had secured an Erick Aybar bat–which I would later mail back to New York for them.
I hung out in the quickly-emptying seating bowl, knowing I wouldn’t be back for several months.
It had been a fun three games. I was sad to see the 2011 season go, but by the time you read this we’ll already be into the 2012 season. How ’bout that?
My first game of ’12 will be on April 16th–right back at Angel Stadium.