Sunday, September 21, 2008

My First Ballpark Road Trip (3)

Read entire series here.

During that first game of my road trip, I just had to take a tour of the park during the game to get a flavor of the fans and different vantage points around the place. A bleacher bum just has to go sit out in the bleachers. So I headed for left field. What I found didn't resemble anything I knew of bleachers. They weren't wooden benches (I knew this from games on TV) and they weren't even called "bleachers" either. They were like "outfield reserved" or something. I forget whether they were even general admission. All of the outfield stands at Anaheim Stadium were an afterthought, being added in the 70's for the football Rams. So the left field seats were essentially football seats, extending all the way down to ground level behind the outfield fence. Nobody could sit in the first ten or fifteen rows because they couldn't see the field over the fence.

The fans out there weren't any more enthusiastic about the game that the fans in the box seats. They just had less expensive tickets. In Oakland, I was used to fist fights several times per game, fans starting chants, heckling the visiting outfielders, etc. This was obviously not happening here. I yelled to the A's left fielder, Dave Collins at the time, just like we did in Oakland. He was "our guy," no matter how good he was. He didn't seem to much more than acknowledge that an A's fan was there in Anaheim. Oh, well. I did talk to one fan for a bit, then returned. Overall, the left field section was a major disappointment.

Anaheim Stadium was a big memory for me my first visit there. It was a large ballpark, three decks high, completely enclosed, seating 65,000. It was shaped similar to Candlestick, and the outfield enclosure was similar in that it was done for football in the 70's and the left field stands were in the end zone. Both parks' right field stands rolled in to the side line, covering right field.

After the game, I remember heading to the players exit to see the A's come out. I vaguely remember this, but I have a Mike Davis autograph on my ticket stub. I must have hit him up. It was a great night and I headed out to find a motel for the night. I will write about that, plus my time the rest of the week in San Diego, and a return jaunt to Anaheim for another game on Monday in future posts.

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