The Angels were hosting an opening weekend series vs the Toronto Blue Jays. Fortunately I was able to score free tickets to this game through AAA Insurance during Angels Fanfest. This was my first regular season game of the year and I was excited. Since it was a day game on a Sunday there was unfortunately no batting practice which gave me an opportunity to take a ton of pictures of the stadium and graph. Now that I look back retrospectively I think this was the game the started it all for me in terms of taking sports graphing to a new level especially for baseball. Before I was a casual fan who would attend signings here and there. Now it's come to a point where I get a bit bummed if I don't attend 1 signing per week especially on the weekends. This game also marked the first time I found about about the Angels 50th Anniversary 1st pitch autograph signings.
As I was aimlessly wandering around the stadium I noticed that the Fox Sports West was setting up for Angels Live near the outfield wall. I noticed a familiar face there. It was the legend himself Tim Salmon.
I was surprised there wasn't a crowd. Nobody seemed to notice that Tim was there. It was just me and another fan who got Tim to come over to sign autographs for us. Tim was nice enough to sign my ROMLB on the SS.
I decided afterwards to hang out and watch Ricky Romero and the Blue Jays practice near the outfield on the 1st base side of the stadium. Ricky is a local player who played for Cal State Fullerton and since he has family and friends here I figured he'd probably be in a good mood to sign. I was right. Ricky is one of the friendliest athletes. He was signing for fans for about 15-20 mins taking photos with fans as well. Ricky signed a ROMLB on the SS for me.
Soon afterwards Brett Cecil and John McDonald came over to sign autographs for fans. Since I had nothing for them to sign I had them sign my ticket stub.
After getting the autographs I headed toward my seat in Right Field Pavilion since the game was about to begin. I heard an announcement that the Angels were celebrating their 50th Anniversary and they were hosting an autograph signing at the 2nd inning of each game this season featuring the former Angel greats who were throwing out the first pitch. Today's 1st pitch Angel great was Bob Lee. As soon as I heard the announcement I went over to the autograph line in center field near the rock wall. There were about 50 fans in line waiting for an autograph. I realized at this point that there were more incentives to attend Angels games this year since you were pretty much guaranteed at least one autograph if you arrived early and on time to the games. Angel greats such as Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, and Rod Carew were all part of the 50th anniversary first pitch participants and all of them did free signings this past year. I ended up having Bob Lee sign my ROMLB on the SS. He was also nice enough to inscribe "65 All Star"
This was a great way to start a new baseball season.