JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Anaheim, California

Rain in Sunny Southern California?

 

While this doesn’t officially count on my ballpark tour, I thought this might count towards number of ballparks in a season. After I arrived home from Cleveland, it was All-Star break followed by periods of heavy rain in southern California. Believe it or not, all the rain resulted in TWO postponed games in SoCal, one in San Diego and the other in Anaheim. I had actually thought about going to that game in Anaheim because it was a Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN. Unfortunately, the rained out game meant several Angels and Red Sox fans couldn’t watch their team after all. Before I thought about buying tickets, my friend, Kellie, had a couple extra tickets and decided to sell them to me instead. I took my friend, Joe, who is a devout Angels fan. This was the first make-up game for the Angels in years, and the first doubleheader in over a decade. How would each team respond?

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The game: Red Sox @ Angels (first game) on July 20, 2015

This was the first part of a split doubleheader, and a historical one for a city like Anaheim that hardly sees any rain. I had to fly out that evening to head to Milwaukee, so I couldn’t attend both games. However, I didn’t pass up the chance to see a make-up game on a Monday afternoon. It wouldn’t be fair to say it was a light crowd because most people who had tickets for Sunday afternoon’s game would have to work the following day. Of course, this was my fortune because I ended up with excellent seats in the field level area.

Because I had already reviewed this ballpark previously, I won’t add anything new about the park itself. Instead, I focused on the bizarre atmosphere that took place at the game. First off, it wasn’t clear whether or not there would be batting practice that day. As it turned out, there would be no BP since it was a split doubleheader. A few concession stands were open since a big crowd wasn’t expected. However, the Oakley sunglasses shop was open. Yes, this is the only MLB ballpark that has a huge store dedicated to Oakley shades. This is typical OC at its finest.

Sadly, I didn’t see many of the specialty food vendors open or even present. This turned out to be a slight disappointment. However, you can never go wrong with Oggi’s Pizza! This local pizza chain has been fairly popular in southern California, specifically Anaheim and San Diego. With the food in hand, it was finally time for some baseball!

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The actual game: Being a Monday and an afternoon make-up game, we knew the crowds would be more than light. In addition to that, the weather was more humid than usual. While the official attendance said the crowd was over forty-thousand, there was maybe half of that amount Monday afternoon. With the game starting at 2pm, crowds were still arriving at the first pitch. Hector Santiago got off to a great start shutting down the Red Sox in the first two innings.

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Then, the bottom of the 2nd inning occurred. After a hit and walk, Chris Iannetta drove in the first run, and Daniel Robertson followed that with another RBI double. At that point, the score was 2-0 in favor of the Angels… but they weren’t done yet. Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez gave up a 2-run single to Johnny Giavotella to extend the lead to 4 runs. Then, on the next pitch, Kole Calhoun slugged a 2-run home run deep into the seats! Within a few minutes and only five pitches, the Angels opened the game wide open and took a commanding 6-0 lead! Oh, Albert Pujols also hit his 27th home run of the season later in that inning. In the blink of an eye, the Angels had a 7-0 lead.

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The 4th inning had the Red Sox come back and score a run. However, the bottom of that inning was more disastrous for the visiting Red Sox. Erick Aybar socked an RBI single to make it 8-1. The final blow came off a 3-run home run by David Freese. That made the score 11-1 in favor of the Angels. By that time, the entire crowd had come in, and the place went nuts. I think most fans were in a bit of disbelief at the score early in the game. With the game well out of reach for Boston, they played a rushed game and tended to swing early in the count during each at-bat. They knew the game was out of reach and wanted the game to end early since there was another game that night.

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Only about an hour later, the game was quickly over and the Angels won by that same score of 11-1. Yes, the game was over very quickly, but it was an experience to see a make-up game. Even moreso, it was a unique experience to see a Monday afternoon game while everyone else is either at work or in summer school. Again, big thanks to Kellie for the tickets, and my friend Joe for coming with me to see the Angels annihilate the Boston Red Sox. Additionally, a huge shout out to my buddy, Talylor Ward, for coming out after the game and shooting the breeze with me between my travels and chatting with us the day I leave! The next post will find me in Milwaukee, so be on the lookout for that. Thanks everybody for reading and see you at the ballpark!

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-JD

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