Tagged: autographs

7/21/11 at Angel Stadium

Just hours after leaving Angel Stadium I was back in line for more… waiting for the gates to open.  Well, I wasn’t waiting long.  It was a day game after a night game and the pregame crowd was pretty light.  There was absolutely no one at any gate but the Home Plate Gate so I took a walk around the stadium.  During my walk I passed the right field tunnel and looked down it to see there were no BP related activities going on.  I had figured as much.  I saw a group pf Rangers pitchers walking toward the outfield… that was it.  Devin rode by me on a bike and asked if anything was goin’ on.  I said there wasn’t much happening–he debated whether or not to even head inside.  I’d see him (and his wife and granddaughter) inside later.  I passed the players’ parking lot and then the left field tunnel… again, all I saw were a few Rangers pitchers in the outfield… and I ended up at the Left Field Gate.  Chris was waiting there, too, so we talked for a few minutes before 11:00am rolled around and we sprinted in to the seats.  As soon as I saw the field I noticed a bunch of Angels pitchers playing catch.  I took this photo a minute later:

The folks throwing are (from left to right) Dan Haren (in the navy undershirt), Tyler Chatwood (throwing with someone just out of frame), Jordan Walden, a trainer throwing to Haren, Rich Thompson, Hisanori Takahasi’s translator (throwing to Thompson), Takahashi (with his arms out), and Scott Downs.  Downs and Takahashi are laughing–at a poor throw by one of them, I think.

You may notice that closer Jordan Walden isn’t throwing with anyone.  He was the odd man out in this warmup–so, from about three rows back in the stands I called out to him, “Hey, Jordan!  You need someone to throw with?”  He turned and smiled, waved, then he said, “What, you wanna throw?”

I said, “Yeah, I’ll throw with you.”  He kind of waved his glove and said, “Nah, I can’t.”  He’s still new to the big leagues–I don’t think he’s aware yet that, yes, he can throw a ball to a fan… then ask for it back… and so on.  He’s still kind of humble.  Walden chuckled and started to turn around and I said, “C’mon, I’ll throw with you.  Really!”  I held up my glove.  Walden kind of looked around (I think to see if anyone was going to tell him ‘no’ to what he was about to do.  Then he grabbed a ball, wound up, and tossed it to me.  I caught it, then threw it back.  Then he threw it back to me–and this continued for a solid minute or so until another pitcher, recent call-up Horacio Ramirez, jogged to the field.  I threw the ball back to Walden and he smiled, nodded his head, then turned around to warm up with, you know, a professional player.  I called out, “Thanks, Jordan!”  And then I moved a section to my right… keeping my eye on the pair.  I talked with Chris for a minute, then Rob… and then I moved back toward my left when I could see that Ramirez and Walden were finishing up:

As they closed the gap between them I made sure there was plenty of space around me–I was just hoping Walden would end up with the ball.  I asked him, “Jordan, could you throw me that ball, please?”  He had started to tuck it into his glove–then he saw me and his body language signaled to me that he knew he should toss it to me–that it would mean way more to me than anyone else.  And he threw it right to me.  I yelled a huge, “Thank you!” to him and had a new favorite baseball in my collection.  Now, I’ve never caught a home run–I’ve gotten a couple foul balls… but those, to me, aren’t nearly as special as this one.  I got to play catch with the closer of my home team and then he threw me the ball–AND it was commemorative!  Then, Walden started signing autographs:

Fans flocked to him and I noticed which way he was moving up the line–and I got into a spot along the wall–and while I was waiting for him I got Rich Thompson and Tyler Chatwood to autograph a 2011 team ball I’ve been working on.  And then Walden got to me and I asked him to “sign it on the sweet spot, please.”  Then I told him, “That ball is going on display in my home.  Thanks so much, I appreciate it.”  And check it out:

He even put ASG ’11 on it.  New.  Favorite.  Baseball.

The day was a success at that point.  I didn’t need to snag another ball or even have a good seat.  Heck, the game could’ve gotten cancelled and I’d have gone home happy.  But, thankfully, it was a gorgeous day–the game would be played–and I wasn’t done getting baseballs OR autographs.

I got Colby Lewis’ autograph near the Rangers’ dugout after all the players had cleared the field but him.  Here was the view of the field a minute after I got the Lewis autograph:

Then it was dead for about twenty minutes.  Zero player activity.  During the dead time I photographed the Walden ball and took a seat in the shade–there, I took a picture of where Tommy Hunter had thrown me a baseball the day before:

Hunter was standing to the left of the Summer Concert Series sign (LUDACRIS!) and I was standing to the right of the staircase behind the batter’s eye.  Nice arm, huh?

A little later, some Angels came out to throw and after Howie Kendrick warmed up he tossed his ball… to someone else.  But then he went to the ball bag and pulled out two brand new 50th baseballs and one went a section to my left, the other one went to me… someone tipped it and I had to pick it up off the ground… but it was still in great shape!  The spot of the catch can be seen in the photo to the right.

Then, Kendrick started signing autographs and I got him on my 2011 team ball.  I debated having him sign the ball he’d just thrown to me–but I opted not to go that route since I already have his signature on a ball from last year right on the sweet spot.  Moments later, when when Maicer Izturis finished his warmup tosses with Erick Aybar  he lofted me the ball.    The row I was in was empty– which was good because as he was running his underhanded toss was a bit off the mark.  I moved a couple of steps to my right and I caught it here:

All three baseballs were commemorative.  Yay!

Before the game started I had gotten five autographs and three baseballs–with no BP!  And I was all set to enjoy a fantastic pitching matchup.  Jered Weaver vs. CJ Wilson.

Here was my view of the game’s first pitch:

Since it was a day game and attendance was lighter than usual, I was able to jog back and forth between the home dugout and the visitor dugout for each inning.

Unfortunately, the two starters were striking guys out left and right and I was almost always on the wrong end of the dugouts.  It was frustrating–but at least I was getting my cardio workout for the day.

In the second inning the Angels managed to score a run without getting a hit thanks to an error by Endy Chavez in center field.  I took a photo (left) of the scoreboard to mark the occasion–it was a pretty important run.

Wilson and Weaver were mowing down their respective opposition.  And the most tense moment in the game game in the sixth inning, when Weaver worked around a bases loaded jam:

Um… that half of a third base coach is due to my panorama-making software.  Hmm.

And he went back out for the seventh before giving way to Scott Downs in the eighth and then Jordan Walden (my new best friend) in the ninth.

Remember that one unearned run?  That was the only run of the game!  And the Angels got the win, 1-0.  I didn’t snag anything else once the game started but I still had a blast.

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9/29/10 at Angel Stadium

I know, I know, the 2011 season has already started and I’m just NOW getting up my last entry from 2010.  What a lazy bum I’ve been, right?

Sorry, loyal readers–I’m sure you’ve been on the edge of your collective seat just waiting to see how this last game went.

The Angels had been eliminated from the playoffs and it was a Wednesday afternoon game against the A’s, who also weren’t a playoff team.  I was hoping for some autographs, some baseballs, a good seat, and a low turnout.  I got ’em all…

The day started with me running into the stadium to see no batting practice happening. Bummer…

An A’s player had just finished throwing and I ran down near the field to see it was Dallas Braden, who’d thrown a perfect game earlier in the season.  I politely asked for the ball as he ran into the dugout.  He tossed it up over the dugout roof.  Number 275 in my ballhawking career!

A moment later Braden popped back up to chat with someone he knew and I got his autograph–I’d have gotten it on the ball he threw me but it was pretty beat up.  Instead, I had him sign my ticket stub for that day’s game.

The only action on the field at that point was some unknown pitcher throwing just past the Angels’ dugout.
kohn pregame throwing 9.29.JPGIt turned out to be Michael Kohn–but I didn’t get the baseball he was using so… whatever.  I did, however, get his autograph on my team baseball.  And later, when a few more Angel pitchers came out to the field I got autographs from Matt Palmer, Francisco Rodriguez and Fernando Rodney on the same team ball.
rodney autographs 9.29.JPGThat’s Rodriguez and Rodney on their way over to appease the fans…

After that I ran over to the visiting team’s dugout where a bunch of Oakland players had come out to throw.  I ended getting the autograph of Gio Gonzalez before Chris Carter and Rajai Davis finished throwing and Carter tossed me my second baseball of the day when they finished.  He spotted me in the fourth row behind the camera well and lobbed it over all the folks pressed up against the wall near the field.
carter warmup 9.29.JPGThanks to Mr. Carter!

I saw that day’s starting pitcher, Bobby Cramer, walking in from the bullpen and thought he (or his catcher) might have a baseball with them.  Cramer, who was appearing in just his fourth major league game, was surprised anyone knew who he was.  He looked up and when I asked him if he could throw me a ball he smiled and pulled out the one in his glove and underhanded it to me!  Sweet!

As the game got underway I had positioned myself in the gorgeous sunshine right behind the Angel dugout:
behind angels dugout 9.29.jpgThere weren’t many people around and those that were retreated to the shade so I had plenty of room on my left:
view to my left 9.29.JPGAnd on my right:
view to my right 9.29.JPGI was hoping for a foul ball at some point… and I could always try for a third out toss.  The odds were in my favor.

Joel Piniero dueled with Cramer until the Angels broke through on a Howie Kendrick groundout in the third.  Since my section had filled up a bit I decided to play both dugouts for a third out toss… I ran to Oakland’s dugout, then back to the Angels’ dugout each inning.  In the top of the fourth I sat down on the aisle as Rajai Davis was walking up to the plate for the A’s.

Well, after a few pitches he fouled one off in my direction but it fell short and landed in the dugout.  I was eight rows back from the dugout and someone on the Angels tossed a ball up over the roof… I stood up, moved toward the aisle, jumped, and caught the ball barehanded!  My glove was on the seat in front of me… I had been drinking some water…

The folks behind me complained–but I was psyched!  My last ball of the season (as it would turn out) was a beautiful rubbed up foul ball from an Angel… really, from an A… but it got tossed up by someone in the Halo dugout.  Here’s a photo of where I caught it:
spot of foul ball 9.29.JPGI took that later while I was back over at the Oakland dugout.  The orange circle shows where I was standing as I nabbed it.  I also saw a creepy Santa Claus sitting in the sunshine and chatting with kids:
creepy santa 9.29.JPGWeird!  And back and forth I went, trying for third out baseballs–but to no avail.  The score was tied in the ninth inning.  Both starters had gone seven innings given up just one run each.  The bullpens were trading zeroes and the Angels got a bit of a rally going in the ninth… I was behind their dugout for that:
bases loaded bot 9 9.29.jpgBut they failed to score… I figured I needed to be close to the dugout in case of a walk off win… which didn’t happen in the bottom of the tenth when the A’s used five infielders:
five infielders 9.29.JPG4 baseball 9.29.JPGIt took until the eleventh on a single by Torii Hunter to score Jeff Mathis.  Walk-off!  And I ended the day with four baseballs…278 lifetime.  The Angels celebrated on the field and I wedged into the front row behind their dugout, hopeful that they’d throw some baseballs, batting gloves, or something… they didn’t.  I knew they had to finish the season in Texas but I thought maybe they wouldn’t need the occasional bat or helmet.  I ended up without any goodies post game…and the Angels still weren’t going to the playoffs.  And neither were the Dodgers… and neither were the Padres.  No SoCal playoff baseball was tough–but I made it through and I’m psyched for 2011.

More to come soon…

8/25/10 at Angel Stadium

::whew::

There was a lot of running around over the twenty-four hours between the start
of yesterday’s game and the end of this one.  The Rays were still in town
and the Angels were looking to salvage the series by winning this day game
after losing the first two games.  The Rays were trying to stay even with
the Yankees and maintain their share of the “best record in
baseball.”  It was a gorgeous summer day in Orange County.

As soon as the stadium opened I headed inside and down to the field seats just
past first base.  There, I scored some points in the myGameBalls.com Photo
Scavenger Hunt by getting a photo with All-Star pitcher David Price.

matt and david price 8.25.jpg

I also got his autograph on my ticket.  There was no BP going on so I
didn’t have a lot to do for ninety minutes.  Luckily, the weather was
great, there weren’t many fans, and I was able to get a few more autographs.

Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden came out of the Angel dugout to stretch and
throw.  I was pretty sure Walden ended up with the ball when they were
finished… anyway, he started signing autographs along the outfield wall and I
got him on a ticket stub.

walden signing.JPG

He kept signing and worked his way toward the infield… and when he was
through I asked if he could spare the baseball in his glove–and he told me he didn’t
have one.  Sure enough, he held up his glove and it was empty.  I
guess he’d handed over to someone at some point in the autograph process. 
While I was near the dugout I saw DL-laden Maicer Izturis down there and he was
signing for the few fans that recognized him.  I tossed him the team
baseball I was working on and he signed it for me… in black ink… from a pen
he was holding that another fan had thrown to him.  All the other
signatures were in blue–but an autograph’s an autograph.  I thanked him
and headed back toward the outfield.  Hoping to get a warmup toss from
Scot Shields after he finished throwing, I had to settle for his autograph on
my team ball–in blue.  I was still sitting on zero baseballs but had four
autographs at that point… that’s the best part about day game pregame
activity: it’s relaxed and the players and team staff members are approachable
and friendlier than usual.  For example, I’ve never seen Shields sign
before.  It was nice to get his autograph… he’s not stellar like he used
to be, but he’s been a good, solid pitcher for the Angels since 2002.

After getting shunned by Ervin Santana and Fernando Rodney (big surprise) I
headed back to the Rays’ side of the field where a trainer had come out in
preparation for the players to emerge from the dugout, I assumed.

rays chris.JPG

I ended
up having a pretty nice chat with this guy, Chris is his name.  I couldn’t
find him on the Rays’ website but his initials are CW… and he helps the
players get loose, plays catch with anyone that needs a partner, throws
football-style passes to Evan Longoria, and occasionally throws BP, so he told
me.  Anyway, he was pretty cool and I liked his shades.

Shortly after talking with Chris I ran toward the visiting team’s dugout and
got their skipper’s autograph on a ticket stub.  I already had Joe Maddon
(and Maicer Izturis AND David Price, for that matter) but it was good to get
him again.

8.25 callaspo toss spot.JPG

I grabbed a drink (free) and headed back to the third base line where the
Angels had come out to throw.  I got myself into the middle of a bunch of
fans and called out to Alberto Callaspo as he finished playing catch.  He
tossed the ball to me in the first row (just behind the “Diamond Field Box Seats” (or whatever they’re called) and I had to fully extend my arm and
lean just slightly to the left in order to catch it.  I took a photo (right) of the spot where I made the catch.

It helps to be able
to use Spanish to ask for baseballs… I mean, it’s great to be able to ask for
baseballs in different languages and I’ve gotten at least two by using Korean,
two using Japanese, and about ten using Spanish.  Thanks to relatively new
Angel, Alberto Callaspo, I wouldn’t get shut out on this sunny, BP-less
afternoon.  I had now gone to sixty-seven games and snagged at least one
ball at each one.  That streak goes back to September of 2008.

another look at field box seats.JPG

I went back over to the Rays’ side as their players were warming up.  There, I took a picture from a different angle of where I snagged the Callaspo ball (left)… you can see how that special section of box seats separates fans from the field and players.  So, I was in the first row of the non-box seats… which is technically the second row.

I didn’t snag another ball or autograph from a player but I did get a baseball tossed to me from coach George Hendrick.  I decided to keep the Callaspo ball and give away the Hendrick one.  I found a little kid nearby and made his day (and his dad’s).  They were thrilled to receive it.

The game started and I spent the top of the first behind the Angel dugout…

longoria socks.JPG

1. Check out Longoria’s socks.

2. Check out all the empty seats!

And I spent the bottom of the first behind the Rays’ dugout.

8.25 first inning view.jpg

No third-out toss for me… and no foul balls anywhere near me which was a bummer because I had a ton of room to run:

8.25 foul ball room to my left.JPG

After the first inning I relocated to the right field pavilion because the crowd out there was light and during day games more home runs tend to make it out there.  As you may recall, I was within five feet of Bobby Abreu’s walk-off homer about two weeks earlier

8.25 view from pavilion.jpg

I saw BP regular Rob out there in the stands and he and I chatted throughout the game.  No homers got hit out toward right field but Mike Napoli did hit a grand slam to left field.  The Angels would crush the Rays on this afternoon, 12-3.  Their offense decided to wake up, how ’bout that?  Also, I watched as a fan who was sitting about four rows from the field down the right field line got nailed by a foul ball.  It wasn’t a scorcher that took a hop into the seats or a line drive that he didn’t have time to see.  It was a fly ball that Rob and I watched, I knew it was going foul.  A half a dozen fans moved out of the way of it.  This one guy did not.

fan hit by ball.JPG

He’s down on the ground in that photo… being tended to.  The woman in white bending down is pretty much blocking the guy that got hit.  Rob and I saw it and heard it hit him.  That sound… I guess I should’ve felt bad for him… or sympathetic.  But I just kept thinking, if you’re that close to the field: PAY ATTENTION!  He got taken away by paramedics after a few minutes… he walked up the steps under his own power so I imagine it was just a bad bump on his head/face/leg/arm.  Wherever he got hit.

matt and reggie jackson jersey 2.jpg

So, I got some sun, a couple of baseballs, five autographs, and saw the Angels win.  All in all, it was a good day.  Toward the end of the game I tried to snag a ball from the bullpen guys… but failed… also I didn’t catch a home run in left field either.  I saw a fan wearing a Reggie Jackson Angels jersey–more scavenger hunt points.  Note: I actually have that jersey but mine’s the home white and not the road gray.

By the end of the game there weren’t a lot of fans left in the stands… the Angels were up by nine runs and it was pretty hot by that point.  Rob and i kept thinking, “This is what it’s like to be at a Pirates game.”

late in the game 8.25.jpg

As a colleague said to me recently about the Angels, “They’re just so mediocre this year.”

8/28/09 at Angel Stadium

Remember when I went to a sports bar called Throwbacks earlier in the week?  Well, Michelle and I ended up with raffle tickets which ended up being exchanged for free tickets to this game!  What’s better than going to a baseball game?  Going to a baseball game for free.

But… before we get into that… my day really started in the morning because I got ready, grabbed my stuff, and headed to Costco in Fountain Valley because Chone Figgins was going to be signing autographs there.  When I arrived to the overcrowded parking lot at 11:00 (for an 11:30 start time) I was met with this:

costco 1.JPGAnd this:                                                            And this:
costco 2.JPGcostco 3.JPGAnd it kept going.  There must have been a thousand people there… it was ridiculous.  Sadly, I was sure that many of those people toward the end of the line wouldn’t get Figgy’s autograph because the signing would end at 1:00.  I grabbed a free pouch of juice and went to my backup plan.  I’m a stage manager by trade, I always have a backup plan.  Today it was heading to an AT&T store in Seal Beach to a Howie Kendrick signing.  That event worked out better for me.

kendrick signing.JPGI got to the parking lot and headed up toward the store at about 11:30 (when the event was to start).  As I headed toward the back of the line I passed by Anaheim regular, Chris (aka cjpyankee), and said hello.  I continued to the back of the line.  When I got there I heard, “Matt!” and looked up.  Chris waved me over to him and led me up to his spot in line which his girlfriend had been holding.  I thanked them and wished them both a happy belated birthday.  Then we went inside and I snapped a photo of Howie before having him sign a ticket stub for me.

After we got out of the store Chris and Ariana (sp?) left and I decided to jump back into line.  It took about thirty-five minutes to get through the twisting (mostly in the shade) line and back up to the front of the store.  When I was about to get inside for the second time I saw AM830’s Jorge “Pollo” Sevilla, the station’s Promotions Manager.  I knew from my previous experiences at Angels events that he was THE MAN to talk to about tickets.  When I saw him I introduced myself and casually asked, “Hey, Pollo, you guys givin’ away any tickets today?”

He grinned and said, “Man, I don’t have very many.”  He then proceeded to pull a stack of them out of his pocket and hand me two tickets to a game in September against the Mariners.  Yes!!  I thanked him and headed inside to get Howie’s autograph again.

Then I headed home, straightened up the apartment with Michelle, and got ready for the game.  After some confusion with some friends over who might be joining us at that evening we set out to pick up our friend Amanda before grabbing food.  We ate, talked, and I dropped Michelle and Amanda off across the street at a Starbucks while I parked and got in line.  Who should I see again in line?  Chris and Ariana.  Chris has become a pretty good ballhawk this year and you can check out his blog here.  We chatted a bit about his trip to New Yankee Stadium and my trip to Kauffman Stadium and at 5:00 the gates opened and we flooded in.  I was sprinting out to right field and as soon as I got up the escalator and could see the field I stopped dead in my tracks.
cage but no hitters.JPGYep… the cage was up but no one was hitting.  Gwah?!?  Oh, yes, the Angels weren’t going to hit after they amassed an amazing THREE hits with ZERO runs the night before.  Ugh.

I saw BP home run catcher extraordinaire, Rob, jogging about five seconds later so I figured I’d just finish my trek up to the pavilion, beat him there, check for Easter eggs, then regroup.  Boy, I would have felt dumb if I’d let Rob passed me and there were three or four baseballs sitting up there.  But there weren’t any… so I simply chalk that up to a round of cardio exercise that I could get in.  Nice.

The only players on the field were a few Angels pitchers.  I jogged alllllll the way around to the third base line thinking there was a small chance they’d throw me a ball.  No luck.  The Angels didn’t hit at all.

Eventually the A’s started stretching in front of their dugout so, in preparation for their hitting I headed past the bullpens, through the center field family section, past the pavilion (again) and over to the seats near the foul pole where I saw Chris.  We chatted again for a few minutes, both of us were now in our A’s gear, and FINALLY some batters started hitting.  Right about that time Michelle and Amanda showed up after having made a stop at the Team Store.

I was really excited because I was sitting on ninety-nine career snagged baseballs and the next one I got was going to put me in triple digits.  A’s pitchers were throwing in front of me, batters were knocking baseballs all over the field… then I saw it.

A ball trickled foul and came to rest near the wall between the A’s dugout and the foul pole.  It was about ten feet to my left and ten feet to Chris’ right.  We both moved toward it and I squeezed into the front row excitedly saying to the female fan near the ball, “Excuse me, can I try to get it?”  I knew I could get it.  I just would’ve felt bad forcing someone to move out of the way.  She obliged, I leaned out and over, and I
snagged my seventy-second ball of the season and the 100th baseball I’d snagged ever.

Now I felt conflicted… I was jazzed to have snagged the ball but I was confused because I had no idea where it came from.  I asked the people nearby me, including Chris, where the ball came from.  Apparently, it had been hit by an A’s batter.  That’s all I knew… all I still know about it.  Oh, well.  Nothing’s perfect.  I had the ball.  I let out a contented sigh.

Chris congratulated me and we both went back to work.  He headed up to the pavilion (and ended up snagging one up there that I saw… I think) and I hung out around the foul pole in right field.  Five minutes later a ball rolled to the warning track near the wall where the outfield seats end and there’s a big gap where the wall opens up and leads to a tunnel used for trucks and storage.  There were a couple of fans that couldn’t reach the ball as I jogged up and said, “Hey, guys, let me try to grab it.”

I did.  Ball #2 on the day… again, I had no idea who hit it.  I had two baseballs and both were hit by the A’s and I didn’t know who hit either of them.

A few more baseballs came over my way but I couldn’t quite get a glove on anything… I had a BP homer lined up but it hit the foul pole and I missed out on it.  Dang… and Trevor Cahill ignored me for about twenty minutes straight.

BP ended at 6:15 and I followed the players in toward the dugout but didn’t snag anything there.  I went over to chat with the girls for a while, chugged some water (it was HOT), then saw a player signing autographs.  I just missed Mark Ellis and his lousy signature but I got Adam Kennedy to sign a ticket for me and I got to talk to him for a minute about how we both gre up in Riverside, CA.  He’s a big inspiration to a lot of kids who play (or played) baseball growing up out there.  After that I got Cliff Pennington to sign and Brad Ziegler as well.

I watched Adam Kennedy and Mark Ellis play catch and when they finished I asked Adam for the ball.  Turns out that Mark Ellis had their actual warmup ball and Adam had just pulled one out of his pocket(just to throw to the crowd… what a guy).  Ellis threw me the ball he had and I yelled, “Thanks!”  Then I went to change out of my sweaty A’s shirt.

The three of us watched the first two innings from here:
sunset cropped small.jpgCheck out that sunset!  I love California.

And each time the Angels had two outs I ran to the dugout to try for a third out ball… but both innings ended in a strikeout and the ball got rolled back to the mound.  The three of us decided to head to the View Level since the stadium was getting crowded.  We found seats above third base but got kicked out of them within ten minutes.

Then we found these seats:
home plate seats.JPGNice!  And we got to stay in ’em for the rest of the game!  And it was a GREAT game.  The Angels were down 6-1 at one point but they put up a seven spot in the seventh inning. 

morales high five.JPGKendry Morales went five-for-five with six RBIs!  He was a few inches from a three home run game!  The umpires reviewed it but it stayed just a double.

It was 11-7 after the A’s got a run in the ninth and Brian Fuentes came on to close out the game.  With one out in the ninth I ran down to just behind the Angels dugout (and I mean ran) and I tried to get a ball or something from the Halos as they came off the field before then running back up to the View Level to watch the fireworks with the ladies from our primo, home plate seats.
DSCF3091.JPGI didn’t catch anything after the game but can you find me in this above photo?

Angel Stadium’s Big Bang Friday fireworks are pretty fun to see.  I played with the fireworks setting on my camera:
fireworks 1.JPGAnd we took a few photos together before heading out for the evening… here are the girls:
DSCF3108.JPGDSCF3110.JPGAnd I made sure to get a picture with the three baseballs I snagged that day.

I was exhausted when we finally got home… it had been a loooong day.

Monday: PETCO Park – Padres vs. Nationals

Wednesday: Dodger Stadium – Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks

Thanks for reading!

Fan Packs

At the beginning of September 2008, after reading about Fan
Packs on another baseball blog, I decided to send a letter to each of the 30 MLB
teams.  The letters were polite, sincere,
and I asked for any leftover giveaway items, or just a letter back.  I hoped that, if nothing else, the 30 teams I
sent letters to would respond.  Here’s
what has been sent to me in the last three months:

September 10

Orioles – form letter, 2 pocket schedules, 2 player cards, 1
autographed card from the Orioles bird, stickers, Camden Yards postcard

September 11

Athletics – history of the team, 1 player card, pocket
schedule

Cubs – Wrigley field history, “how to get autographs”
letter, 2 pocket schedules, full roster list, sticker, 2 order forms

September 12

sexon auto.jpg

Mariners – 2 sticker sheets, decal, 2 pocket schedules, Ritchie Sexson autographed card, activity
sheet, form letter/brochure

Phillies – 7 player cards (including 1 faux Jimmy Rollins
autograph), pocket schedule, “tips for young ballplayers” guide

Indians – Cliff Lee
autographed player card, 2 activity/coloring sheets, copy of Little League
Magazine (Summer 2008)

Rays – sticker, decal, pocket schedule, Rays baseball camp
brochure

September 13

Rangers – five-piece stationary set, cloth logo (large), Jr.
Rangers wristband, 3 logo stickers, 4 player cards (including faux Hank Blalock
and faux Michael Young autographs), Kevin
Millwood autographed player card

millwood auto_0001.jpg

September 16

White Sox – form letter, 2 order forms, 2 pocket schedules, 1
sticker, Sox kids club brochure, sausage magnet

September 17

Brewers – set of 3 baseball cards (random), Jason Kendall
promo card, Robin Yount promo card, pocket schedule, 2 player cards

September 20

Twins – official merchandise catalog, new ballpark poster, 5
player cards, kids club brochures, team photo, Justin Morneau (reading) poster

September 22

Tigers – form letter, fact sheet, 2 pocket schedules

For a while, nothing else came.  I opened my mailbox and saw coupons, bills,
and the occasional letter or card from someone I knew… but it seemed that no
one else in Major League Baseball was going to reach out to me.  Then, my hope was renewed on:

October 18

Red Sox – 2008 Red Sox wall calendar, Red Sox keychain,
personalized card from the Red Sox, 2 pocket schedules

billy marlin.jpg

Marlins – set of 5 Marlins baseball cards, pocket schedule,
bookmark, temporary tattoo, a Cornerstones for Kids sticker, 1 player sticker,
license plate advertisement, 2 player cards, 2008 Marlins roster, autographed
photo of Billy the Marlin

October 22

Yankees – Yankee Stadium magnet, Yankee Stadium keychain,
Yankee Stadium virtual tour DVD

And that’s it… so far.  All I have to say is, “What’s up, other MLB teams?  Nothing?  I am sorely disappointed in you.”  Anywho, feel free to give it a try for yourself… The teams that did respond (thank you) actually sent some cool stuff!  I am steadily adding to my baseball collection in the offseason.  Soon, I’ll blog about some autograph requests I sent out.  Enjoy the chilly days of Winter!  Las Vegas will certainly give all us baseball fans a lot to talk about for the next few months.

Oh, and lastly, I just bought my tickets to the WBC at Dodger Stadium in March!  I went in 2006 when it was at Angel Stadium and, let me tell you, the energy is fantastic!

UPDATE: Just before the Winter Meetings the Dodgers came through with a pretty substantial Fan Pack:

December 8

Dodgers – personalized letter, Dodgers hat, two packs of baseball cards, four Dodger player cards, Dodgers poster, September issue of Dodgers magazine, Jackie Robinson poster, Dodgers rally towel

UPDATE AGAIN: The Padres just sent me a package… it’s 2009 now.  Better late than never–pretty cool stuff, too!

January 27 (2009!)

Padres – Teamwork in the Community pamphlet, set
of DAV Padres baseball cards, 2008-09 Padres wall calendar, Adrian
Gonzalez mesh jersey

AND the Pirates:

February 2

Pirates – PNC Park tour brochure, pocket schedule, 9 player cards 

UPDATE AGAIN: Out of the blue, in June, I got a couple more packs.  Forgive me; they came shortly after the wedding and I saw them and simply didn’t blog about them.

June 14

Mets – Carlos Beltran player card, brochure, sticker

June 24

Giants – activity and coloring pages, form letter, pocket schedule