Well the season began a week ago today. It was quite a thrilling start. I was on the field to hold the flag for the National Anthem with my wife and several friends. We were holding the flag closest to the infield near the center of the flag. The flyover flew directly above us and was quite breathtaking.
The game itself proved to be a great one as well. The team looked great and Matsui was a hit. He even had a group of fans holding up signs in right field that spelled “Matsuiland”.
Below is an image my son snapped of Matsui hitting his home run on Opening Day.
We had great seats and a great time at Opening Day. Below is a photo of us in our seats.
Unfortunately there weren’t many other victories on the homestand. We were part of the Angels’ Guiness World Record for largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets. I was also at the only other victory on the seven game homestand. It was an exciting walkoff by Matsui against the A’s but it shouldn’t have needed to be won in that fashion. Our bullpen has looked quite shaky after a great initial start. So the Angels start the season 2-5 and next play three in New York.
If it weren’t already bad enough that the Angels will travel the most miles of any team in the majors, they also have to witness the Yankees championship ring ceremony. I think the schedule makers were a bit cruel to our beloved Halos.
On a more positive note, my wife won one of five All-Star Fan Fest Golden Tickets that were hidden in 5 different locations on April 9th. They have posted video at http://www.allstargame.com. Click here for a direct link. Here is what she won with the Golden Ticket:
- 4 tickets to all 5 days of All-Star FanFest, which will be held from July 9, 2010 to July 13, 2010 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California
- Vouchers for 20 Holiday Inn Priority Passes, each of which enables the holder to proceed to the front of the line of certain FanFest attractions.
- Vouchers that can be redeemed at FanFest for four (4) hot dogs and four (4) twelve ounce soft drinks.
- A voucher that can be exchanged at the 2010 FanFest for a baseball autographed by Torii Hunter.
Rory Markas, an Angels radio broadcaster when the Angels won the 2002 World Series has passed away. He was 54 years old. He had just been promoted to the television broadcast booth this offseason.
Rory’s famous call of the last out of the 2002 World Series: “Here’s the pitch to Lofton. Fly ball centerfield. Erstad says he’s got it. Erstad makes the catch. The Anaheim Angels are the champions of baseball”. The audio clip of this was immortalized in the Angels Talking Bottle Opener.
I’ve seen Rory interact with fans many times over the years and he was always a class act. It was very obvious how thankful he was to be in the position that he was. He was a great talent and will truly be missed.
I imagine that the Angels will probably wear a patch on their uniforms to commemorate Rory this upcoming season. Below is a design I put together that I think would be a fitting tribute. I added a little extra glow around the Halo. I think the patch should be rectangular to differentiate it from the diamond patch for Preston Gomez and the circular patch for Nick Adenhart that were worn on the 2009 Angels uniforms.
I stopped by the stadium this evening after I finished up work. It was a bit tough to focus on work today with the news this morning. I wore my black Angels hat and a black Angels shirt to see the tribute that fans have setup on the pitcher’s mound outside the stadium. I took some photos of the tribute.