Saturday, April 5, 2008

Opening Night

It's late. My son, Zac, and I just returned from the Home Opener for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels got blasted by the score of 11-6 at the hands of the Texas Rangers. They didn’t even score a run until the 9th inning. However, we stayed until the bitter end. We actually stayed to see the great fireworks show after the game, which unfortunately turned out to be the only fireworks at the game (unless you are a Rangers fan).

I like the Angels. They are my second favorite baseball team. I grew up in the sixties and seventies listening to perhaps the greatest sports announcer who ever lived – Vin Scully. He is probably the main reason that I am partial to the original LA baseball team – the Dodgers. For me, there is just something about the Dodgers.

There is also something about Opening Days, Opening Nights, new Seasons, new opportunities – and it’s something that I like. I like the fact that everybody starts fresh and new with a clean slate. Hope springs eternal for all involved. I especially like the opening of the baseball season. It’s always in springtime. The sights and smells of the ballpark are wonderful (for the most part). The aroma of freshly-mowed grass, grilled hot dogs, fresh air, popcorn and peanuts. I admit I’m a sucker for it.

Actually this is only the second opening-day of Major League baseball that I’ve ever attended. My sister called me on Friday afternoon and offered me the ticket package (4 tickets and preferred Parking Pass) for the already sold-out game, with the first pitch just a few hours later. There was no planning, there was no circling of the date on the calendar -- it was just an immediate opportunity that fell into my lap. That alone could be a blog subject for another time. The seats were great – 5 rows from the field, behind the camera-well on the first-base line (As you can see from the picture above -- poorly taken by my cell phone).

From Kenny G’s incredible rendition of the National Anthem at the beginning, all the way to the Grand Finale’ of the Fireworks show – it was a great time. It was father-son time. Cousin to cousin time. Male-bonding time. Eating junk-food – er – baseball-food time. Cheering-hardly time. Laughing-loudly time. Family-fun time. Enjoying-the-moment time. It was simply a great time.

So the Angels lost the game. That's what it will say in the paper, but that wasn’t the real story. The real story was that the group who sat in Field Section 127, Row E, seats 5 through 8, won. And it’s great to start any season as a winner.

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