Wednesday, May 18 – Angels 8, Dodgers 1. Anaheim is next door to Fullerton, where I went to junior high and high school, so this was something of a homecoming. I’d been to the Big A a few times, most memorably in 1974. I was on San Clemente stake-out duty for The Associated Press a few days after Richard Nixon had resigned as President. The rumor was that he might go to an Angels game that night. He didn’t, but I did.
Access: There is plenty of parking adjacent to the stadium for $10.00.
Seats/pricing: My son, daughter-in-law, and their two little kids were all along again after spending the previous day a few blocks away at Disneyland. My daughter-in-law got the tickets through a friend; we were on the club level along the left field line.
View: The first-level concourse doesn’t offer a view of the field, but the second-level does. The view from seats is very open, but a freeway to the east and mostly low buildings in the immediate vicinity aren’t very exciting. The so-called rock pile in left-center field is the more scenic alternative. The brief exception is after dark when the lavish fireworks from Disneyland go off and can be seen from some parts of the stadium.
Food: From a wide variety of choices, we opted for the Smoke Ring BBQ outside the main concourse. I had the smoked BBQ brisket sandwich; Devlin went for the Legends Dog, which was a hot dog smothered in brisket. Both terrific, though we wished we’d asked for extra sauce.
Beer: A large craft beer stand offered 24 different varieties of draft. Domestic cans and premium drafts in the supersize mid-20-ounces went for $11.75 and $14.00.
Crowd: 44,006. Of course there were plenty of Dodger fans on hand for this local match-up – what the soccer world would call a derby (pronounced darby). But the Angels part of the crowd had all the better of it, especially as the Angels pulled comfortably ahead. As in Los Angeles two days earlier, the crowd was late-arriving and, with the outcome essentially settled, began departing in the seventh inning.
Men’s Rooms: Clean.
Neighborhood: Hey, this is Southern California, so you need a car to get most anywhere. The immediate neighborhood is the parking lot. But Disneyland and its surrounding restaurants and hotels are just a few blocks away.
Arts and visuals: Fairly plain wall displays pay tribute to the Angels’ best years and their best individual player records. The pair of huge Angels’ caps outside the main entrance are striking.
Baseball Moment: Mike Trout’s first-inning 411-foot home run plus two more hits and two more runs scored highlighted the one-sided game.