Angels Stadium in Anaheim, CA – Where Magic Lives

For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a huge sports fan! Baseball is my passion and the Anaheim Angels are my favorite team. I have to get something out of the way right here, and state that I WILL NEVER refer to them as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They are in Anaheim, not Los Angeles, and should not have had it added to their name. The city of Los Angeles has another team, you can watch them if you want to watch a baseball team in LA. Anyway, I am done with my rant and off my soap box, lol. As an Angels fan, my favorite staduim is Angels Stadium in Anaheim.  baseballI have loved watching the Angels since the early 80’s. I lived about 15 minutes away from the stadium growing up and use to take the bus up and down Katella to watch games on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It was easier then to walk up to the box office and get a same day ticket. I have fond memories of just sitting and watching the game. Since my first  trip to a ballpark, I have loved the sounds and smell of the game. I am always amazed at how crazy the game can be, and how fast things can change in an inning. Gene always says there is no insurmountable lead in baseball. No matter how far behind you are, you always have the ability to come back, catch up, and take the lead. My Angels do it all the time 🙂 30 teams After moving to Colorado I was working remotely and was able to travel to different cities where the Angles were playing. It was a lot of fun, and one time I even got to see them check into their hotel, and sit in the bar with them having a beer. It was awesome!!! I also got my first baseball at an away game 🙂 Thank you Reggie Willits. Anyway, after visiting a few parks, I realized that I wanted to see all 30 MLB Parks.  Up to the date of this post, I have been to 18 of the 30! With that said, I have decided to share some information about several parks here on my blog. I will also offer some history on the park as well as the home team.  Of course I have to start with my favorite park Angel Stadium, AKA as the Big A, in Anaheim! Sorry, it will be the longest, lol

Angels Stadium

angels baseball 1 The stadium opened April 9, 1966 with the home team, California Angels. Their first game was an exhibition game in which they hosted the San Francisco Giants. Their first franchise’s first American League game was April 19, 1966 vs. the Chicago White Sox. When it originally opened in 1966 it held 43,204 seats. Then in 1981 it was redesigned to support the Los Angeles Rams and seated 65,158. angels baseball 6The Rams ended up moving to St. Louis in 1981 and the Disney Corporation, a minority owner of the team since its inception, gained enough support on the board to effectively take control of the team. After working out a deal with the city of Anaheim, the stadium underwent an extensive renovation, returning the stadium to its original role as a baseball-only facility. Angels Stadium now has 5,075 club seats and 78 luxury suites. angels baseball 2The most notable feature of the renovation is the “California Spectacular” in which geysers erupt and a stream cascades down a mountainside (Pride Rock) covered with real trees, artificial rocks behind the left-center field fence, and new bullpens. Fireworks shoot out of the display at the start of games, after every Angel home run and after every Angel win (they had been shot off from a parking garage before then). Another thing that is really interesting about the renovation at Angels Stadium is the two giant Angels hats, size 649 1/2, complete with New Era tags on the sweatband at the entrance of the stadium.  They are huge and are angels baseball 5Also outside home plate gate is a full-sized brick infield complete with regulation pitcher’s mound and lighted bases, with bricks at each player position engraved with the names of Angels players who played at that position on Opening Day of each season since the Angels joined the American League in 1961. I just love Angels Stadium! all star game

I am happy to say that Angels Stadium has played host to the All-Star Game 3 times in its existence. It hosted the game in 1967, 1989, and lastly in 2010. It has gotten bigger and bigger each year with more and more hype. I now live in Colorado, but loved watching and listening to all the excitement around the city of Anaheim.

Anaheim Angels, The Team

As I stated earlier, I have been watching the Angels since the 80’s and I remember watching such players as Gary DiSarcinai, Doug DeCinces, Fred Lynn, Bobby Grich, and Brian Downing,  just to name a few. I wish I had more earlier memories, but the late 70’s and early 80’s was when I started getting into baseball. I do know that the team began in 1961 as an expansion team with Gene Autry as the first owner.  Sadly he was unable to see the Angels win a World Championship before he passed away in 1998. He was the owner of the Angels for 38 years. The Angels retired the number 26 in his honor as the team’s 26th player in 1982.

gene autryThey played their inaugural season at  Wrigley Field in Los Angeles before moving to Dodger Stadium/Chavez Ravine in 1962. Pitcher Bo Belinsky is credited with tossing the first no hitter in the history of Dodger Stadium/Chavez Ravine. The need for a new stadium became more and more evident. It was thought the Angels would never develop a large fan base playing as tenants of the Dodgers. Autry was able to strike a deal with the city of Anaheim and construction began on Anaheim Stadium. On September 2, 1965, team ownership announced the Los Angeles Angels would thenceforth be known as the California Angels, in anticipation of the team’s move to Anaheim the following year. They remaind the California Angels until 1996.

CIRCA 1970's: Nolan Ryan #34 of the California Angles pitches during circa mid 1970's Major League Baseball game. Ryan played for the Angles from 1972-79. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

The Angels won their first American League West Division championship in 1979 under manager Jim Fregosi, a former Angel shortstop who was sent to the New York Mets in 1972 as part of the trade that brought Nolan Ryan to the Angels. Don Baylor became the first designated-hitter to win the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Other contributors to the team, which featured a powerful offense, were Bert Campanerls Rod Carew, Dan Ford, and Bobby Grich.  However, the Angels lost what then was a best 3-out-of-5 American League Championship Series (ALCS)  to the Baltimore Orioles,  3 games to 1.

reggie

The Angels nearly reached the World Series in the 1982 postseason. Reggie Jackson, who previously starred for the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees  joined the Angels that year and teamed with many holdovers from the 1979 team for the 1982 effort. The team was helmed by manager Gene Mauch, who would also manage the team during their 1986 postseason appearance. After clinching their second AL West championship, the Angels won the first two games of the best-of-five ALCS against the AL East champion Milwauke Brewers — then promptly dropped the next three in a row to lose the series.

chuck finlayAgain, the Halos nearly reached the World Series in the 1986 postseason. Baylor was gone, but among the new additions were American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Wally Joyner and pitcher Chuck Finley. Champions of the AL West for the third time, the Angels faced the Boston Red Sox  in the ALCS Leading in the series 3 games to 1, the Angels were one out away from defeating Boston and going to the World Series for the first time in their history. Sadly they were not able to get that last out before giving up the lead and losing the next two games at Fenway. (still can’t stand Boston to this day, lol) I still remember how disappointed I was that year. I worked in a bakery and we made a cake to send over to the club house congratulating them. Sadly, they didn’t  receive it.

world series trophy

Then came 2002. In the 2002 World Series they met the Wildcard San Francisco Giants, in what ended up being the highest-scoring World Series of all time. San Francisco took Game 1 (4–3), but the Angels followed that up by winning Games 2 (11–10) and 3 (10–4). The Giants came back to win Games 4 (4–3) and 5 (16–4). The turning point in the series came in Game 6. The Angels trailed 5–0 and were 8 outs away from elimination before rallying for 3 runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to win 6–5. The Angels then won Game 7, 4–1, to claim their franchise’s first and only World Series Championship. Third baseman Troy Glaus was named the MVP of the Series. Twenty-year-old rookie relief pitcher Francisco Roddriguez won a record five postseason games, despite never having won a regular-season game before. Angel pitcher John Lackey became the first rookie pitcher to win the seventh game of the World Series in 93 years. world series ring2

That night is still one of the happiest, and more memorable nights for me. We had a huge World Series party and went absolutely crazy when they won. Popping champagne,  banging pots and pans (you would have through it was New Years Eve lol) and setting off fireworks. It was amazing. However the best part was running outside into my front yard and seeing a red hue over the city of Anaheim and Angels Stadium. It was absolutely incredible.  It was more than 14 years ago and I still get the chills just thinking about it or when I here audio of the late Rory Markus saying “Erstad says he’s got it. Erstad makes the catch. The Anaheim Angels are the champions of baseball!” There is nothing like winning at home! It is something I will NEVER forget.    

mike s

Mike Scioscia is the man that helped bring us our World Series Trophy in 2002. As of today, he is still our manager and  has been at the helm since the 2000 season. He is currently the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball. He is doing his best to bring another World Series trophy home to Anaheim! He has the help of the best player in baseball, AL MVP Mike Trout!

mvp troutAs I am sitting here writing this, I am in California and getting ready to head to Angels Stadium!  I am excited and looking forward to it, as it will probably be my last game at Angels Stadium this season. However, I am hoping to see them in Denver in July when they play the Rockies.  Here is a fun pic of me at the stadium the last time I was there. Enjoy reading and learning about my favorite team, of my favorite sport, THE ANAHEIM ANGELS!!!!!

me

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3 comments on “Angels Stadium in Anaheim, CA – Where Magic Lives
  1. Samey you speak with such passion on the Angels I can just feel all the love and enthusiasm in your being, God bless you for your passion, I just didn’t ever even begin to understand how overly and completely in love you are with the sport, forgive my lack of support all these years, keep up the wonderful blogs, they are so lucky to have you in their corner. I’m just blown away. Fern

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