Tag Archives: Angels

Visiting Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Last Saturday was a good day. Pam returned from a trip, and I picked her up at LAX. Picking a loved one up at an airport is so much better than the drop off. Instead of returning home right away we went to Anaheim. We had a lunch and dinner hybrid at Tacos Y Pupusas. It was the first time I’ve had a pupusa (a specialty from El Salvador), which was a positive experience. My al pastor burrito was also very good.

After eating we walked to Angel Stadium of Anaheim to see the Angels play the Tigers. Angel Stadium is the 4th oldest ballpark in MLB, meaning I have now attended games in the five oldest parks (1. Fenway Park, 2. Wrigley Field, 3. Dodger Stadium, 4. Angel Stadium, 5. O.co Coliseum). This was Pam’s second MLB game.

Angel Stadium viewed from the parking lot.

Angel Stadium viewed from the parking lot.

The stadium has a cheerful appearance, with palm trees being prominent around the structure. The signature design elements are the Big A in the parking lot (you can see it in the picture above, it’s in profile as the red narrow pyramid on the right side) and the twin size 649 1/2 caps by the main entrance. I really enjoyed the big hats.

Size 649 1/2 hats in front of Angel Stadium.

Size 649 1/2 hats in front of Angel Stadium.

We took a picture in front of the stadium (photo stolen from Pam).

We took a picture in front of the stadium (photo stolen from Pam).

We purchased tickets for section 515. I had a new experience going through security, when the security agent didn’t like my camera lens. I was told not to extend the lens. (Lenses that are longer than 4″ are forbidden, a policy I was aware of but did not expect to be enforced.)

Our view from section 515).

Our view from section 515.

The stadium has some interesting features. The rocks and water behind the center field fence are a fun element.

The rocks and water in center field.

The rocks and water in center field.

The sound levels tended to be a bit higher than my preference (we were near a speaker). It reminded me of the noise level in Chicago at The Cell.

It was a beautiful, sunny California day. The temperatures were in the mid-80s, with a slight breeze. The game was played at a brisk pace. Pam got to see her first home run in the 2nd inning, when Efren Navarro hit his first career home run. This game featured Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrerra, and Justin Verlander–it was fun to see so many great players on the field in the same game. We also got to see Tori Hunter make a spectacular catch in right field for the Tigers.

Albert Pujols at first base (with Jim Joyce in the background).

Albert Pujols at first base (with Jim Joyce in the background).

The game also featured another first for me. In the 3rd inning Eugenio Suarez was picked off first base by Matt Shoemaker. Suarez was initially called safe, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out and challenged the call. After the replay Suarez was ruled out. It was the first challenge I saw at an MLB game. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus felt that Scioscia took too long to challenge the play, and his theatrics in disagreement led to his ejection by first base umpire Jim Joyce.

In just under 2 hours and 47 minutes the Angels triumphed 4-0 over the Tigers.

The field under lights.

The field under lights.

Soon after the game ended the lights went down and a post game fireworks show commenced.

After the Angels win a game the halo on the Big A is lit up. As we walked away from the stadium I took a picture of the beacon of victory. I like traditions of statements of victory at ballparks (like the Wrigley Field flag or the Big A halo).

The halo was lit up on the Big A (Angels win!).

The halo was lit up on the Big A (Angels win!).

Seeing Angel Stadium means I have now visited all five MLB ballparks in California. I did not expect to accomplish that so quickly after moving to California, I thought it would be a long-term goal.

It’s great to have Pam back from her trip. We’re in the home stretch of the wedding countdown!


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U.S. Cellular Field: Elvis Night, Homers, and Noise

To complete the ballpark tour of Chicago I went to U.S. Cellular Field with my friends Ryan and Sarah last Friday. The White Sox played the Angels. It was Elvis Night.

The view from Section 555 in U.S. Cellular Field.

Philip Humber started for the Sox, opposed by new Angel Zack Greinke.

Zack Greinke on the mound for the Angels.

In the first inning Paul Konerko grounded into a fielder’s choice at the plate with the bases loaded. The catcher tried to throw to first to get Konerko, who ran inside the baseline to obstruct the throw, resulting in a wide throw. Manager Mike Scioscia came out to vigorously argue the call. He stayed on the field a long time, and instigated a long conference between the umpires. The game would be resumed with the Angels playing under protest–tonight (Monday) MLB ruled that the call would be upheld and the game considered final.

Manager Mike Scioscia protests.

The scoreboard at U.S. Cellular Field has a row of colorful peppermint candy-like disks on top of it, which is a tribute to a famous scoreboard feature from Comiskey Park.

The peppermint candy scoreboard in U.S. Cellular Field.

U.S. Cellular Field was the first ballpark I have attended that has first class and second class tickets. If you buy an upper deck ticket you are not allowed in the lower level of the park. Thankfully I could still see the statue of Frank Thomas on the outfield concourse from my seat.

Admiring the Big Hurt statue from a distance.

I was happy to see Albert Pujols play. He is one of the best. He hit a home run in the 6th inning.

Albert Pujols at the plate.

U.S. Cellular Field is one of the loudest ballparks I have been to. The PA system is always producing some sort of noise, and the volume is cranked to 11. It ranks low on my ballpark scale due to this and the upper and lower level segregation.

The game was close. After 9 innings the score was tied. In the bottom of the 10th Alex Rios it his second home run of the game, a 2-run shot to left, to win the game in dramatic fashion. It was the first MLB walk-off home run I have seen in person.

Soon after the game ended the lights went out. And Elvi parachuted into the park. Not only is Elvis alive, there are now three of them (I think he was cloned).

Elvis is in the building! (but not yet on the ground).

After hearing four abbreviated Elvis songs performed by an impersonator and seeing Vegas-style showgirls dance behind home plate, even more lights went off. Then a fireworks show took place.

After the show as we walked out of the park I took this picture of the Chicago skyline. I think it is more impressive than the Elvi or fireworks.

The Chicago skyline viewed from the ballpark.

I’m glad I was able to see the other Chicago ballpark. I enjoyed Wrigley much more, but baseball is good all the time.

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