Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California – Where Magic Lives

Angels Stadium - 4For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a huge sports fan! Baseball is my passion and the Anaheim Angels are my favorite team. I have to get something out of the way right here, and state that I WILL NEVER refer to them as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or Los Angeles Angels, or whatever they want to call them. They are the Anaheim Angels unless they move to another city.  They are in Anaheim, not Los Angeles, and should not have had it added to their name. The city of Los Angeles has another team, you can watch them if you want to watch a baseball team in LA. Anyway, I am done with my rant and off my soapbox, lol. As an Angels fan, my favorite stadium is Angels Stadium in Anaheim.

Angels Stadium - baseballI have loved watching the Angels since the early ’80s. I lived about 15 minutes away from the stadium growing up and use to take the bus up and down Katella to watch games on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It was much easier walking up to the box office and getting a same-day ticket. I have fond memories of just sitting and watching the game. Since my first trip to a ballpark, I have loved the sounds and smell of the game. I am always amazed at how crazy the game can be, and how fast things can change in an inning. Gene always says there is no insurmountable lead in baseball. No matter how far behind you are, you always have the ability to come back, catch up, and take the lead. My Angels do it all the time 🙂

After moving to Colorado I was working remotely and was able to travel to different cities where the Angles were playing. It was a lot of fun, and one time I even got to see them check into their hotel, and sit in the bar with them having a beer. It was awesome!!! I also got my first baseball at an away game 🙂 Thank you Reggie Willits. Anyway, after visiting a few parks, I realized that I wanted to see all 30 MLB Parks.  Up to the date of this post, I have been to 18 of the 30! With that said, I have decided to share some information about several parks here on my blog. I will also offer some history of the park as well as the home team.  Of course, I have to start with my favorite park Angel Stadium, AKA as the Big A, in Anaheim! Sorry, it will be the longest, lol

Angels Stadium

Angels Stadium - 1

The stadium opened on April 9, 1966, with the home team, California Angels. Their first game was an exhibition game in which they hosted the San Francisco Giants. Their first franchise’s first American League game was on April 19, 1966, vs. the Chicago White Sox. When it originally opened in 1966 it held 43,204 seats. Then in 1981 it was redesigned to support the Los Angeles Rams and seated 65,158.

Angels Stadium -6The Rams ended up moving to St. Louis in 1981 and the Disney Corporation, a minority owner of the team since its inception, gained enough support on the board to effectively take control of the team. After working out a deal with the city of Anaheim, the stadium underwent an extensive renovation, returning the stadium to its original role as a baseball-only facility. Angels Stadium now has 5,075 club seats and 78 luxury suites.

Angels Stadium - 2The most notable feature of the renovation is the “California Spectacular” in which geysers erupt and a stream cascades down a mountainside (Pride Rock) covered with real trees, artificial rocks behind the left-center field fence, and new bullpens. Fireworks shoot out of the display at the start of games, after every Angel home run and after every Angel win (they had been shot off from a parking garage before then). Another thing that is really interesting about the renovation at Angels Stadium is the two giant Angels hats, size 649 1/2, complete with New Era tags on the sweatband at the entrance of the stadium.

Angels Stadium - 5Also outside the home plate gate is a full-sized brick infield complete with regulation pitcher’s mound and lighted bases, with bricks at each player position engraved with the names of Angels players who played at that position on Opening Day of each season since the Angels joined the American League in 1961. I just love Angels Stadium!

Angels Stadium - all-star-gameI am happy to say that Angels Stadium has played host to the All-Star Game 3 times in its existence. It hosted the game in 1967, 1989, and lastly in 2010. It has gotten bigger and bigger each year with more and more hype. I now live in Colorado, but loved watching and listening to all the excitement around the city of Anaheim.

Anaheim Angels – The Team

As I stated earlier, I have been watching the Angels since the ’80s and I remember watching such players as Gary DiSarcinai, Doug DeCinces, Fred Lynn, Bobby Grich, and Brian Downing,  just to name a few. I wish I had earlier memories, but it wasn’t until the late ’70s and early ’80s that I started getting into baseball. I do know that the team began in 1961 as an expansion team with Gene Autry as the first owner.  Sadly he was unable to see the Angels win a World Championship before he passed away in 1998. He was the owner of the Angels for 38 years. The Angels retired the number 26 in his honor as the team’s 26th player in 1982.

Angels Stadium - gene-autryThey played their inaugural season at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles before moving to Dodger Stadium/Chavez Ravine in 1962. Pitcher Bo Belinsky is credited with tossing the first no-hitter in the history of Dodger Stadium/Chavez Ravine. The need for a new stadium became more and more evident. It was thought the Angels would never develop a large fan base playing as tenants of the Dodgers. Autry was able to strike a deal with the city of Anaheim and construction began on Anaheim Stadium. On September 2, 1965, team ownership announced the Los Angeles Angels would thenceforth be known as the California Angels, in anticipation of the team’s move to Anaheim the following year.  The Angels opened their stadium on April 1, 1998, with a 4–1 victory over the New York Yankees.  They remained the California Angels until 1996.

Angels Stadium - nolan-ryanThe Angels won their first American League West Division championship in 1979 under manager Jim Fregosi, a former Angel shortstop who was sent to the New York Mets in 1972 as part of the trade that brought Nolan Ryan to the Angels. Don Baylor became the first designated hitter to win the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Other contributors to the team, which featured a powerful offense, were Bert Campanerls Rod Carew, Dan Ford, and Bobby Grich.  However, the Angels lost what then was the best 3-out-of-5 American League Championship Series (ALCS)  to the Baltimore Orioles,  3 games to 1.

Angels Stadium - reggieThe Angels nearly reached the World Series in the 1982 postseason. Reggie Jackson, who previously starred for the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees joined the Angels that year and teamed with many holdovers from the 1979 team for the 1982 effort. The team was helmed by manager Gene Mauch, who would also manage the team during their 1986 postseason appearance. After clinching their second AL West championship, the Angels won the first two games of the best-of-five ALCS against the AL East champion Milwaukee Brewers — then promptly dropped the next three in a row to lose the series.

Angels Stadium - chuck-finlayAgain, the Halos nearly reached the World Series in the 1986 postseason. Baylor was gone, but among the new additions were American League Rookie of the Year runner-up Wally Joyner and pitcher Chuck Finley. Champions of the AL West for the third time, the Angels faced the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS Leading in the series 3 games to 1, the Angels were one out away from defeating Boston and going to the World Series for the first time in their history. Sadly they were not able to get that last out before giving up the lead and losing the next two games at Fenway. (still can’t stand Boston to this day, lol) I still remember how disappointed I was that year. I worked in a bakery and we made a cake to send over to the clubhouse congratulating them. Sadly, they didn’t receive it.

 

Angels Stadium - world-series-trophyThen came October 27, 2002. In the 2002 World Series they met the Wildcard San Francisco Giants, in what ended up being the highest-scoring World Series of all time. San Francisco took Game 1 (4–3), but the Angels followed that up by winning Games 2 (11–10) and 3 (10–4). The Giants came back to win Games 4 (4–3) and 5 (16–4). The turning point in the series came in Game 6. The Angels trailed 5–0 and were 8 outs away from elimination before rallying for 3 runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to win 6–5. The Angels then won Game 7, 4–1, to claim their franchise’s first and only World Series Championship. Third baseman Troy Glaus was named the MVP of the Series. Twenty-year-old rookie relief pitcher Francisco Roddriguez won a record of five postseason games, despite never having won a regular-season game before. Angel pitcher John Lackey became the first rookie pitcher to win the seventh game of the World Series in 93 years

Angels Stadium - world-series-ring

That night is still one of the happiest and more memorable nights for me. We had a huge World Series party and went absolutely crazy when they won. Popping champagne,  banging pots and pans (you would have thought it was New Year’s Eve lol), and setting off fireworks. It was amazing. However, the best part was running outside into my front yard and seeing a red hue over the city of Anaheim and Angels Stadium. It was absolutely incredible.  It was more than 14 years ago and I still get the chills just thinking about it or when I hear audio of the late Rory Markus saying “Erstad says he’s got it. Erstad makes the catch. The Anaheim Angels are the champions of baseball!” There is nothing like winning at home! It is something I will NEVER forget.

Angels Stadium - Mike SMike Scioscia is the man that helped bring us our World Series Trophy in 2002. As of today, he is no longer our manager but was at the helm from 2000-to 2018. He was the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball. He did his best to bring another World Series trophy home to Anaheim with the help of the best player in baseball, AL MVP Mike Trout!

Angels Stadium - MVP

I have such fond memories of Angels Stadium and it will never be anything besides Angles Stadium or the Big A. I don’t care how many name changes they have had, or may have in the future. While I don’t get to go to many games since living in CO now, I always enjoy going to the stadium store and checking out all the goodies for sale. One time I picked up a nice shirt, lol. If you are a fan of the Angels, you may be interested in my post on their spring training facility,  Temple Diablo Stadium in Arizona.

Play ball Angles!!!

Angels Stadium - Me

Angels Stadium Visitor Information

Address

2000 E Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806

Phone

Directions:

By Car

From South Orange County and San Diego

  1. Take the I-805 North
  2. Follow the signs to stay on I-805 North
  3. I-805 North becomes I-5 North Drive 1.3 miles
  4. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 18.6 miles
  5. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 33.5 miles
  6. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 8.7 miles
  7. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 2.1 miles
  8. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 10.7 miles
  9. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 0.5 miles
  10. Take the CA-57 North exit on the Right towards Pomona Drive 0.5 miles
  11. Merge onto CA-57 North Drive 1.2 miles
  12. Take the Orangewood Ave. exit on the Right. Drive 0.2 miles
  13. Turn left onto Orangewood Ave. Drive 0.3 miles and enter the destination on right

From Los Angeles – Downtown Area

  1. Take the I-10 East
  2. Merge onto I-5 South Drive 24.5 miles
  3. Take Katella Ave. exit toward Orangewood Ave. Drive 0.2 miles Take Katella Ave. ramp
  4. Drive 0.3 miles Turn Right onto E. Katella Ave.
  5. Drive 0.8 miles Turn Right on St. College Blvd.
  6. Drive 0.2 miles Turn Left onto 2000 Gene Autry Way.

From San Bernardino

  1. Take I-215 South
  2. Follow the signs to stay on I-215
  3. I-215 South becomes CA-91 West/I-215 South Drive 13.8 miles
  4. Follow the signs to stay on CA-91 West Drive 10.1 miles
  5. Follow the signs to stay on CA-91 West Drive 7.6 miles
  6. Follow the signs to stay on CA-91 Drive 2.9 miles
  7. Take the CA-57 South/CA-57 North exit on the Right towards Santa Ana/Pomona
  8. Keep Left at the fork in the ramp Drive 0.7 miles
  9. Merge onto CA-57 South Drive 2.5 miles
  10. Turn left on E KATELLA AVE towards KATELLA AVE. Drive 0.5 miles
  11. Turn left on S STATE COLLEGE BLVD. Drive 0.3 miles
  12. Turn left on E GENE AUTRY WAY to your destination at 2000 Gene Autry Way

Train

The Angels Express train serves all weekday home games starting at 7:07 p.m. from Orange County south of Anaheim, and Friday home games only from Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.  Tickets can be purchased on game days the same day of travel. Tickets can be purchased through the Metrolink App or at a ticket vending machine (TVM) by selecting ‘Angels Express’ in the ‘Special Tickets’ section. Please arrive up to 30 minutes before the train departure time to purchase your Angels Express tickets at the TVM.


Prices:$7 Adult round-trip
$6 Senior/Disabled
$4 Youth ages 6-18 years old* Children age 5 and under ride free with paying adult, limit 3 per fare

By Bus

Many ways to get to the stadium via OCTA and all end up near the stadium.  It is definitely the cheapest way to get to and from the stadium.

Price:

$2.00 per ride or $5.00 for one day pass

Parking:

  • The parking lot opens two and a half hours prior to the start of the scheduled first pitch.
  • Baseball Regular Season day-of-game parking prices are as follows: $10.00 for general parking; $20.00 for preferred and oversized vehicle/bus parking. Baseball Post-Season, Supercross, Monster Jam, concerts and other event parking rates are subject to change.
  • We accept cash, debit/credit cards, and Apple/Android pay.
  • The oversized vehicle and bus (greater than 20 feet in length) entrance is located on Orangewood Avenue.
  • Season ticket holders with parking coupons should use the Express Entry Lane on Orangewood Avenue.
  • Drivers of Lexus vehicles may park in the Lexus Lot just west of the Home Plate Gate. Maximum capacity is 100 Lexus vehicles and is available on a first-come-first serve basis. The recommended entrance for vehicles utilizing the Lexus lot is the State College entrance. Please follow the directions of the parking staff upon entering the lot.

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