Four Ballparks Recap Part III: Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Calling all Towels | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Four Ballparks Recap Part III: Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Calling all Towels

Day three of the Four Ballparks trip began at the Hilton in beautiful Anaheim, California, just minutes from Angel Stadium.  Hungry and bored and with the game not until six PM, we were two weary travelers with some time to kill.  So we figured that, since we were staying right near the ballpark, there must be some place to grab a quick bite before the ballgame.

Wrong.  After twenty minutes of fruitless searching, we settled for a coffee cake and a second pack of skittles—breakfast of champions–from Dildar, a clerk at a convenience store a few blocks away.  Another trip to the OC Sports Bar (and Ubaldo Jimenez’s 18th win) followed, after which it was time for Angels vs. Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

There were plenty of buildings surrounding the ballpark.  Unfortunately, the oddly-dominant use of said buildings were flooring and furniture stores, and there was once again disappointingly little in the way of pre- and post-game entertainment (though Disneyland was close at hand, so I suppose I have little to complain about).  The ballpark itself, however, was everything I’d hoped it would be.

Even from our hotel room, we could see the landmark “Big A” with the halo that shines after every Angel victory, both at home and on the road.  The structure is even more impressive up close.  Angel Stadium is actually the fourth-oldest Major League ballpark, right behind Dodger Stadium, but the park’s appearance had me convinced it had just opened this year.

Despite its age, Angel Stadium comes off as a very modern ballpark.  The rocks beyond the center field wall give it a unique feel, as did the team’s decision to forego the usual hard rock or rap music to begin games in favor of a somewhat tamer rendition of “Calling All Angels” to get their fans pumped up.  Odd as the choice may be, it seemed to work as the fans made noise for their team even though they were well out of the playoff race in a meaningless weekday game against the woebegone Indians.

The game started rather quietly, with no hits through three innings—no surprise given the punchless lineups featured by the two teams and Dan Haren’s presence on the mound for the Angels.  The score stood 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth when a majestic Torii Hunter blast into the right field stands got the crowd on its feet, tying the score at two.  The score was still that way in the middle of the eighth.  And that was when the famous Rally Monkey made its first appearance.  Shown on the jumbotron jumping up and down in the right field stands (and saving the world from being crushed by a giant meteor), the beloved monkey made famous in the 2002 World Series never fails to incite cheers from the Angels faithful.  Unfortunately, it was not enough for the Halos this time as the Indians took home the victory by a count of 3-2 after an RBI single by Shin-Soo Choo.

After the game, it was a quick walk through the granite, flooring and carpet stores back to our hotel room.  There was a guy selling hot dogs on the side of the street, but the urge to eat one never struck me.  Instead, we settled for an Abramson family tradition—local delivery pizza in the hotel room—and it did not disappoint.  As we turned out the lights that evening, we knew six hours of driving, and one last ballpark, lay ahead tomorrow in the finale of the greatest vacation ever.  And while the halo may have remained dark that evening, spirits were still very bright in room 517 of the Hilton Suites in beautiful Anaheim.

Check back soon for the finale of this four-part series.

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