A beautiful day for a ballgame

Monday, June 10, 2002–Angels 4, Pirates 3

In 2002, Burqueños had been without baseball for two years, the Albuquerque Dukes had left for Portland and the Isotopes had yet to take their place. So, when my dad and I went out to Southern California to attend a wedding and visit my grandma, I was quite anxious to get to a ballgame. One beautiful evening–beautiful even by SoCal standards because it wasn’t even all that humid–when we had nothing planned, there were no interesting movies at the theaters, and we’d already gotten in our day at the beach, I suggested that we go see the Angels. I have to be honest and say I was looking in the newspaper to see if there was a Dodger game, and decided to “settle” for the Angels, because the Dodgers were in Tampa at the time. It turned out to be very lucky for me, 2002 turned out to be a banner (or should I say “pennent”?) year for Angels baseball.

My grandma (who recently passed away) was a saint, but her complete consienciousness about everything did lead to an odd moment. The game was listed in the Orange County Register as “Today, 7:05 pm.” Despite this, she insisted that I call up the Angels “just to be sure there really is a game.” Fortunately, there was, so we all hopped into her car and up the 5 to Anaheim. 

So, about the game itself. I’m sorry to say that this was before I began keeping score of ballgames I attended, so I don’t remember much about specifics. Some of what I do remember: it was the first game of an interleague series against the Pirates, everybody was making a fuss over a little guy I’d never heard of before (David Eckstien) hitting a grand slam the night before, and the Angels won. Oh yes, and I know somebody hit a home run, because I got a bit of a shock from not expecting the fireworks they shoot off there. Let’s see, what else? One of the Angels pitchers got called for a balk and the fans heckled the umpires the rest of the game by shouting “balk!” after every pitch, even when there weren’t runners on base. You may find it odd I’d remember where the Dodgers were that day, and yet need to look up who hit the home run. I know I find it odd, but there you have it.

The Angels started that season 6-14, but by the time we went, they had turned things around, and the chatter I was hearing around the ballpark was that there was a feeling this could be a special year. It was the year they won their first (and to this point, only) world championship.

Here’s the scorecard (not original, I filled this out September 18, 2011).