07 September 2011

...at the old ball game

Between Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, we visited Camden Yards. Near the end of July, the Angels were playing the Orioles at Orioles Park.

I bought tickets for the Sunday afternoon.

I've been watching games at Angels Stadium for more than 20 years, and periodically, we wander over to that other place in Chavez Ravine, but with all the traveling I do, I've never managed to get to a game elsewhere. Usually, the home team is out of town. I was so disappointed last summer when I was in Pittsburgh, literally walking distance to PNC Park, and the Pirates were away.

So we grabbed the opportunity to see a game while in Baltimore.

My family, of course, was decked out in all its Angels finery--we all have shirts and caps, and though we don't admit to it, there are a couple of Rally Monkeys around here, too. The bright red stuck out amidst the orange and black, and I have to admit, I anticipated being hassled. It always happens at Dodger Stadium.

The security guy who was checking my bag noted our allegiance.

"Do you get to many games in California?" he asked us.

"A few," I responded, fiddling with my camera. "When we can."

"Tell you what," he said, rummaging in his pocket. "If you get to the stadium and send me a program, I'll send you something from here."

Then he handed me four baseball cards, one of which was Bobby Abreu, who currently plays for the Angels.

"Sure!" I told him. "And thanks!"

(I was the kid who had pen pals. I had pen pals from all over the world. You know, that's something I miss, those flimsy air letter forms, filled with newsy kid stuff and whatever purloined items we'd slipped inside, hoping whoever's postal service wouldn't toss the form away for carrying contraband.)

The spouse took down the other man's contact information, and I stowed the paper in my back pocket.

Believe it or not, I managed not to lose it the whole trip.

We so enjoyed our game at Orioles Park (the Angels won; Mike Trout hit his first home run and his family was sitting behind us, joyous and cheering. Also? Nice ball park!).

We are a family of our word, and when we got back, I started looking at the Angels schedule to see when we might possibly get to a game. Of course, school was starting, and there was all that attendant stuff...

"I want to go to Chia Pet night!" the daughter announced. She has a fondness for the Wind Sox, which she so dubbed at a game we were at when she was about 4 and the Angels beat them 16-0. Sadly, Chia Pet night was her first night of school, so that was out.

There weren't many homestands left. Yankees will be visiting and the Angels totally have that club's number, so it's usually a fun match-up, in much the same way that Boston is not fun to watch. EVER. But tickets tend to be hard to come by. So finally, we settled on seeing the Twins this past weekend.

'Twas a good game. The Angels won. In the first inning, Mark Trumbo hit his first career grand slam. By the top of the second, I'd already lost my voice from screaming. The daughter was only disappointed that no foul balls came our way. She will have a foul ball someday.

And I bought a program. Tomorrow, it will be shipped off to Baltimore.

Go sing a good song: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" lyrics by Jack Norworth, music by Albert Von Tilzer. And tonight, I saw Dave Winfield up in the broadcast booth, chatting with the commentators. How I loved to watch him play when he was with the Angels. The real news these last couple of weeks, though, has been Jerome Williams, who has been pretty excellent on his outings. I admire his tenacity and his ability.

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