On this Throwback Thursday, I’m choosing to look back at my 40th Birthday from last summer. Why? Well, I’m running the Angels Baseball Foundation 5K this Saturday and baseball season is about to begin for real (spring training games are fun to watch, but don’t count). So, after an Avengers themed week, I’m switching gears and taking a look at what’s coming up soon. As you can see, my 40th birthday was on a Wednesday last year. So, it’s hard to come up with things to do on the actual day. I decided to take the day off from work because who wants to work on such a big birthday. Right? Anyways, I’ve been wanting to do this tour for a while. The problem is that it’s only offered on certain week days. Since I work Monday through Friday, I would have to take a day off to do this. The price for this tour is inexpensive at $7.00 per person. So, with all of that in mind, I headed down to the stadium to see if I could get in.
You meet up under one of the big red caps in front of the stadium for this tour. It wasn’t too hard to figure out which one. There was a small group waiting. Eventually, the tour guides came out and gave us the rundown of what we would expect along with a brief history of the Angels franchise and the stadium. After all, Angels Stadium is the third stadium the Angels franchise has called home. They started off at Wrigley Field (not the one in Chicago, we had one out here in LA at one time) in 1961. Then, moved to Chavez Ravine (AKA Dodgers Stadium) in 1962. They remained there until 1966 when they moved into Angels Stadium. The tour guide asked us some Angels trivia as a way of getting the discussion going. Then, they checked out tickets to make sure we should be on the tour and were off.
Although this picture is a bit blurry, this is the World Series trophy the Angels won in 2002. It’s on display on the concourse behind home plate (just outside of the Angels Store).
The tour began with checking out this display, which isn’t exactly behind the scenes kind of stuff. You can see this anytime you go to an Angels game. However, visiting the display gave the tour guide time to tell about the 2002 Angels team. Fun fact about our tour guide…he also works as an usher at the games.
After the history lesson, the fun began. We made our way downstairs to the lobby area for the club houses.
On one side was the Angels clubhouse (which we did not get to enter). The other side was the visiting team clubhouse.
On the wall outside of the visiting team’s clubhouse is this display of various credentials which outlines who and who does not belong in this area.
First up, we got to see the players lounge for the visitors.
You’ve got to keep those big league players happy. So, there is plenty of food and a place to just chill out.
This is the weight room for the visitors. It’s a little packed up because there were no games happening that evening.
And, we finally got inside the visitors clubhouse (or locker room). It’s very spacious. However, I’m sure that the Angels clubhouse is much cooler.
Yep, me by the lockers. You know, just an ordinary day. NOT! It was cool to pretend to be a baseball player, though.
Ironically, this is the only television I noticed in the clubhouse. I would have thought there would be more. Maybe in the Angels clubhouse there are more televisions.
In the clubhouse, we got to hear about a lot of things. One of the interesting things were the requirements that Major League Baseball has for their bats. The picture above is of a description of what is required to be an official Major League Baseball bat. We also learned about how the bats are made and how baseballs are made. If I remember correctly, a baseball can only be used for like 5 or 6 pitches before it has to be replaced in the game. We also learned that the starting pitcher for the home team determines which uniform that the team will wear for that game. The Angels have three uniforms…a white one, red one, and a grey one. Now, the white is only used at home and the grey is only used on the road. However, the red one can be used for either. The Angels also used to have an alternative white jersey with red sleeves for home games.
We did get a little time to wander around. So, I took the chance to check out the showers. Of course, no one was using them. So, it was okay to do.
Again, this area is kind of unimpressive to me. However, it was cool to see what the visitors are having to deal with when they come to play at Angels Stadium.
We made our way out of the visitors clubhouse, back to that lobby area, and down this hallway towards the Angels dugout. This is the exact path that the Angels players would take (only from their clubhouse).
Along the way, I saw this sign and thought it was interesting. As you can see, there are 5 potential game times during the season. The times listed are for when the media would have access to the Angels clubhouse. Pretty cool information!
Here is another display of the credentials. I’m sure this is for security to reference.
At the end of the hallway, are the stairs that lead up to the Angels dugout!
I took this picture from where Mike Sciocia (Angels Manager) would be watching. This would be his view of home plate.
This would be his view of the pitchers mound.
Yep. It was fun to be in the Angels dugout!
Now, THIS is field level.
Here is where the Angels players would have their batting helmets stored. Gotta love all the Angels logos!
If the Angels need to get a relief pitcher, the coaches would use these phones to call the bull pen to get the relievers warmed up.
This is where the camera people would sit for those field level camera angles.
Yep, we had a fun group of people on this tour. All of us enjoyed being in the Angels dugout!
One last shot in the dugout of me sitting on the bench that the players would sit on. To say that I was in heaven would be an understatement. It was like living out a boyhood dream to be sitting in the Angels dugout!
On the way back out of the dugout, we passed by this punching bag. It’s there for players to take their aggression out. By the way, the guy in the picture was our tour guide.
Of course, some times the players bypassed the punching bag and took out their aggressions on other things.
Here is an area the Angels players who are not playing can keep loose by pedaling stationary bicycles. It’s located behind home plate.
Also, down here is the batting cage for the Angels players. The tour guide told us that the manager doesn’t like the players to take batting practice before the game outside. So, the Angels players will take their batting practice here, behind home plate.
Down the hallway from the batting cage is the umpire locker room. As you can see, no visitors allowed in this room. Major League Baseball is really strict on who can and cannot enter the umpire locker room.
Next, we made our way up to the Gene Autry Suite. For those of you who don’t know, Gene Autry is not only an actor but he also was the original owner of the Angels franchise.
From the Gene Autry Suite, we made our way to the press level.
This is the view from one of the press boxes. Not bad.
Here’s a view of the many press boxes at Angels Stadium.
They each have a television in their box.
And, of course, the Angels media guide.
After checking out the press boxes, we made our way to the media room (on the same level as the press boxes).
Here is where the players or other key Angels personnel will be at for press conferences.
All set for my press interview!
And the podium where one of the Angels PR staff would likely stand to direct the press conference.
And with that, our tour was over. On the way down and back outside of the stadium, we came to a hall which had lots of fun Angels pictures. Here’s my current favorite Angels player, Mike Trout!
Although this is not on the tour. The Fox Sports West Angels pre game and post game show does use this area for their broadcast.
This was such a fun tour! I would highly recommend it to any baseball fan. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and gave some great information about how Major League Baseball operates in addition to fun Angels facts. If anyone is interested, I’m thinking about doing a Throwback Thursday post next week detailing the tour I took of AT&T Ballpark from the trip my wife and I took to San Francisco last year. Both tours were really cool in their own ways. I appreciated the information we got on this tour and as a person who grew up an Angels fan, I loved getting to be behind the scenes! Plus, the price of $7 made this a great deal! However, the tour is a little shorter than the one we got in San Francisco and we got to see a little less of the stadium as well. So, it wasn’t perfect. If you’re coming out to Southern California for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend or the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend, you might consider this tour as a possible fun thing to do while you’re out here. Also, the picture I’ve presented here are not all the pictures I took from this tour. If you want to see the rest, please click here to visit my Flickr gallery of this tour.
I can’t wait to see the stadium again this Saturday for the Angels Baseball Foundation 5K! Thank you for letting me flash back to this tour from last year. Are there any baseball fans out there reading this? If so, who is your favorite team?