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Baseball in the Big A

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#1 longstrangetrip

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:27 PM

As a SoCal transplant, I savor every opportunity to see my beloved nine when they come to town, so I plan to be at all three games this week. While most sports venues in California are great game experiences (Staples Center has it all over Target Center, and AT&T park is wonderful), the Big A is an exception. This is Orange County, where blandness was invented, and the crowds reflect the county. Lily-white and as un-rabid as any baseball fans I have ever seen. And then there is that annoying Rally Monkey...

Having said that, I have had three unique baseball experiences at the Big A. Years ago on a vacation to SoCal, my son and I were at the infamous Joe Niekro sandpaper game. Fun to be there during that historic moment! What many don't remember was that Niekro was terrible that day, and he got tossed out with the Twins far behind. It turns out that it was the best thing that could have happened to us, because Dan Schatzeder came in and pitched several good inning while the Twins chipped away at the deficit, and the Twins eventually prevailed!

My second unique experience happened during the same series. I don't remember the details, but a Twins' batter hit a line drive off the fence which ricocheted off the right fielder's face and over the fence. The umpire correctly signaled a ground rule double, and TK came out to argue for a HR...albeit without much intensity. My son and I still talk about the "face-rule double" play.

My third Big A experience, unique to me at least, was watching Jared Weaver no hit our hapless hitters two summers ago...let's hope that doesn't happen Thursday.

I have to admit that despite the 4-game winning streak, I don't enter this series with a great deal of optimism. The Angels hit and field better than we do, and they pitch much better. Josh Hamilton is heating up, and the pitching matchups look unfavorable. Mauer has just started to hit, but he is 2-22 off of Wilson (as is Suzuki). And Arcia isn't likely to snap out of his funk against the tough-against-lefties Wilson. Further, after Wilson we get a 7-2 pitcher followed by Weaver. I would be happy with winning one of the next three, but I'll be cheering for a sweep of course! I think it's time for Kendrys (both of them) to step up against his former teammates.

Very important series for the Twins as we sit only 3.5 games behind the Angels in the wild card standings. It's a tough matchup for us, but I think it's time for us to prove that we are contenders. Go Twins (and %&@# the rally monkey)!

#2 JB_Iowa

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 01:44 PM

Thanks for the stories. Have fun at the games.

#3 zenser

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 02:19 PM

I got to see my only live bench clearing brawl at the Big A. It didn't involve the Twins though. We went to a Angels vs Dodgers game as part of a high school extra curricular event. I think it was in 1996 which was the first year of interleague play. I can't remember who was pitching for the Dodgers but in the bottom of the first, he hit Tony Phillips and it was on. I also remember that the Angels had those hideous uniforms that were grey, white, and blue.

#4 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 03:08 PM

I used to like the stadium when it was Edison. I worked half a mile from the stadium during their 2002 run, which was amazing (but unfortunate that they demolished the Twins in the process).

Back then, you could walk up and buy a great ticket just before the game. I got dugout seats more than once walking up to the gate.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I was there for the first appearance of the Rally Monkey. If not the first, it was the second or third time.

That season was fun.

#5 Brandon

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:20 PM

cool. I am planning to walk up to buy a ticket. I live in Irvine about 10 miles away. Online it looks like tomorrow's game is more expensive than today's.

#6 longstrangetrip

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:39 PM

I used to like the stadium when it was Edison. I worked half a mile from the stadium during their 2002 run, which was amazing (but unfortunate that they demolished the Twins in the process).

Back then, you could walk up and buy a great ticket just before the game. I got dugout seats more than once walking up to the gate.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I was there for the first appearance of the Rally Monkey. If not the first, it was the second or third time.

That season was fun.

Yeah, it's a pretty stadium all right...just a little tame as a baseball experience. 2002 still makes me a little sick to my stomach when I think of that great home run slugger Adam Kennedy.

#7 longstrangetrip

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:40 PM

cool. I am planning to walk up to buy a ticket. I live in Irvine about 10 miles away. Online it looks like tomorrow's game is more expensive than today's.

I don't know if you've experienced this, Brandon, but I don't find that the Twins are a big draw in Anaheim...great for buying walkup tickets or even below face value ones on the street!

#8 notoriousgod71

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:00 PM

I used to like the stadium when it was Edison. I worked half a mile from the stadium during their 2002 run, which was amazing (but unfortunate that they demolished the Twins in the process).

Back then, you could walk up and buy a great ticket just before the game. I got dugout seats more than once walking up to the gate.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I was there for the first appearance of the Rally Monkey. If not the first, it was the second or third time.

That season was fun.


That child that dressed up as the rally monkey during the playoffs and was on TV a million times must be about 18-20 years old by now. I hope he lives in shame.

#9 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:09 PM

I was at the Niekro game as well. Top deck, somewhere between home and first, and we could see the "object" fly out of his back pocket all the way from there.