Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Keep losing; I’m enjoying the good old days

I used to hate when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lost. I’d pinpoint this move or that move, and try to show how one or two tiny changes in the game, would have resulted in a W instead of a L. Now I’m enjoying their pathetic play.

I’ve been a season ticket holder for years, and I’ve had building resentment at the team not only losing, but then offering super-sized discount deals on my seats, which the annual cost has continued to rise. I get it. They made their money off me, and my buddies I split season seats with. It’s time to liquidate inventory in the 500s and out in the 240s. I’m not a fool. Selling a ticket for $5 to a fan who will pay $50 at the beer stand is definitely worth it from a business standpoint. Now it’s a joke. Just take a look at the prices on stubhub.com for a seat to the remaining Angel games. That’s right. Want tickets to the last home game of the season? That Wednesday day game will only cost you $.88 each for up to four seats. Where are the seats, you ask? It’s not really important. It’s open seating. That’s right. You can pay 88 cents to sit where people who have season tickets spent $50 for their seat. As a season ticket holder I’d complain, but as an Angels fan, I love it! Case in point: Yesterday’s game!

The game against Cleveland, albeit had a 4:05 start time, was empty. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like seeing financial misfortunes for my favorite team. If they don’t make money, they can’t spend money on players. But it reminded me of when the Big A sat out in left-center field, players were approachable before and after the game, you had a chance at a ball, and you were surrounded by true fans. Taking advantage of minimum day at my daughters’ schools, we went to the game. We wore our Angel garb, and came with the notion that we might get a ball at BP. In fact, I was more excited about BP, than I was about watching the game. Well we were the first ones entering the right field gate at 2:30. Back in the old days, the first ones in usually found a few balls in the stands. I’m guessing the ushers are now militant about throwing them back, because we didn’t find one ball.

It was great. There were about 5 of us in the corner for the first 15 minutes. One kid, clearly a regular there because he knew all the ushers and security, had four balls in about 10 minutes. He was the busybody. This 13 or 14-year-old worked right field for about 20 minutes, then made his way up to the right field pavilion where he got another ball or two, and ultimately we ran into him about 15 minutes to game time, at the prime time field dugout MVP world-famous all-star seats. That’s where he was getting autographs galore from Torri Hunter. Back to the right field corner. My older daughter snagged a ball almost upon arrival. In fact she beat the regular angel kid to a home into the seats. Next, Frank Hermann of the Indians toss me a ball for my younger daughter. They were quite thrilled.

About 30 minutes into BP, there were now maybe 8-10 people down in the corner. Nobody really seemed to be ready for balls, except us, and this other man and his girlfriend, who had snagged like four balls too. I managed to grab a ball down the line with my hat. I think my kids were holding my legs! Not bad for a 10 and 7-year-old. The Indians players were signing autographs, and while most of the hubbub was surrounding the dugouts, we were out in a seemingly spring training paradise in the corner. One more ball came towards us, and despite my heroic dive, I came up empty. I am a bit sore though! All in all, BP was awesome. The kids had fun, and I had a memory that sent me back 30 years.

By this time, my older daughter was really riding me about not bringing a Sharpie to the game. She’d take an autograph from anybody, I guess much like I was, when I was a kid.

1980 Father's Day

That’s from Father’s day 1980. I was 7. I got a Bobby Clark and Rick Miller autograph that day. I don’t know if they are the best I could get, or I just didn’t try for some of my real faves, because I was still heartbroken about Nolan Ryan’s departure. Yesterday, what she got was Brandon Wood. Both my daughters tried to get Torri Hunter’s autograph, but they were a step behind the crowd. But Torri was there was a smile, pleasing the fans. It was a great sight to see. Callaspo, Wood, Frandsen, Abreu were among several Angels signing balls and things. My daughter got Wood’s autograph.

Wood auto'd ball

When the game started, most of the seats were empty. The box score says there were 37,000 people there. We know that’s the PAID attendance, and not the real turnstile numbers. All it tells me was that there were 20,000 season ticket holders who decided not to go. If you go to the games, or watch them on TV, you know it’s a paltry crowd. But hey, to me, it’s an Angels party. Aside from the stray visitor jersey and random Yankees fan, it’s all Angels diehards. You’re in good company with people who love the Angels. And I swear when I say this, I see men my age, that I recognize as regulars from the games 30 years ago. It was a good feeling. There are 12 games left, four of which I have tickets to. I wasn’t going to go again this year, having been really peeved about this year’s team. However, my kids had such a great time, I’m going to try to make one of those games. We will do it the same way. This time I’ll bring the Sharpie. At least my daughter will know that I got the point, sotospeak.


~ by sotospeaks on September 9, 2010.

3 Responses to “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Keep losing; I’m enjoying the good old days”

  1. I’m not sure how to take your post. I mean I can see how you love it on one hand, but deep down you can’t possible love what’s happening this season. In any case – I’m glad your kids had a great time at the game.

    Personally, I’m perfectly happy sitting in the View MVP section when the stadium is full. That being said, I also love spring training, but not nearly as much as seeing the Angels win.

    I’m glad you found my blog because now I’ve found yours. Keep up the good work.

  2. By the way… use a ball point pen on the baseball for autographs – they are less likely to fade than a sharpie. No kidding.

  3. I have many faded balls… sigh.
    But several other team balls with RYan in the 70s and Reggie in the 80s

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