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@Angels Stadium, Anaheim
Both Ying and I hoped to catch a professional sport game when we were in United States and the greater LA area has quite a few professional sports teams across different sports.
Basketball was the top choice but both Lakers and Clippers were out of the playoffs by the time of our visit. None of the fixtures in the NHL playoff between LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks took place on those dates as well and even the MLS schedules of LA Galaxy and Chivas USA weren’t kind to us.
So baseball it was for us. LA Dodgers and LA Angels of Anaheim were the two teams in the region and only Angels was playing at home that weekend. Easy choice then. We bought the cheapest tickets available online for the Saturday 4.15pm match against Kansas City Royals. We paid 27.95 USD for two, quite a bargain for a professional sport game.
After our visit to Walt Disney Concert Hall, we made the 45-minute drive to Anaheim. My friend K had arranged to meet us for lunch before the game and we spent some time catching up at the Lazy Dog Cafe at Orange.
The Lazy Dog Cafe
I was quite surprised that the drive from our lunch place to Angels Stadium took less than ten minutes. On-site parking was available for 10 USD.
Ushers directing fans to the parking
Since we were still early, we went around the stadium taking pictures.
Patrick the Angel
One of the two giant caps
It was great to see a big crowd at a live sporting event and most were families with kids. It appeared that all were having fun.
Getting tickets last minute
Checking out the merchandise
A ball perhaps?
Another Anaheim institution was present at the ballpark as well. A photographer was on-site to take photos for the fans.
Mickey (and friends)
With Mickey the baseball player
Diehard fans could purchase a piece of the stadium for themselves too.
Bricks bought by fans
We made our way to our seats around 20 minutes before the game started. Passed several food options along the way.
Smoke Ring BBQ anyone?
The Grand Stand
Stadium starting to fill up
The atmosphere was not bad, even from Section V507, Row K, Seats 17 and 18.
We were reminded from time to time that there would be a showing of The Lego Movie after the match.
Things weren’t going too well for the Angels; they wee two down in the 3rd inning (if I got my terms right).
Despite trailing behind, the fans still tried to have fun.
Fans love to be caught on camera
In between the innings, there would be activities that kept the audience entertained. One of which involved a boy who needed to ‘steal’ the base within the stipulated time. He made it!
Boy who stole the base
The home team managed to come back with four runs in the 4th and 5th inning to take a 4-3 lead and there were even pyrotechnics after a home run was struck.
The vendors would come around to sell snacks and drinks.
Giant pretzel for sale
Angels’ back-up pitchers warming up
Royals got another run in the 7th inning to tie the game at 4-4, much to the home fans’ disappointment.
Tied at 4-4
Then the traditional baseball anthem was played and the crowd sang along.
Take me out to the ball game
It was quite cool that most people knew the words to the song.
End of the song
Some happened during the 8th inning…
Who is he?
It could only be…
Apparently when the chips were down for the Angels, Rally Monkey would come out to lend his support.
There were three videos which he starred in; all of which were entertaining. Top marks to the creators; sadly we missed out on the Lego one.
Gangnam Style – so 2012 but still funny
However, despite Rally Monkey’s best efforts, Angels couldn’t produce the moment of magic to win the game and the game went into the 13 innings.
Stadium’s lit up
Start of 13th
Although we had wanted to stay on to catch the start of The Lego Movie, the cold winds and the long drive ahead to LA made us reconsider and we decided to leave before the match ended. On our way out, we passed through the lower level and took some photos there.
Better view at a lower level
Sadly, Royals were the ones who broke the deadlock.
Royals 5 Angels 4
The visitors would go on to win 6-4, capping a rather disappointing Saturday for the hosts.
Goodbye Angels Stadium
Did we understand the game? Not really. Did it impede our enjoyment? Not at all! It was great going to a live sport event with a good crowd. There were many activities going on to keep the spectators engaged so kudos to the organizers.
However, if I were to nitpick, the noise generated by the 30-odd thousand crowd wasn’t terribly impressive. The screen would display “Make some noise” to get the fans going and there was little singing beside “Take me out to the ball game”. Quite different from football (soccer) matches where there was usually more singing from the fans.
Nevertheless we were still glad that we attended the match. The value was tough to beat and we hope that we will be able to catch another professional sports game the next time we are back in US.