I was thrilled that my first game at Angel Stadium coincided with Justin Upton hitting his first homer as an Angel (and the 250th of his career).
Angels in the UK member Tomas West, writes a View Over the Pond.
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- Why Are You An Angels Fan?
I am one of a younger generation of sports fans who benefit from 24/7 coverage of virtually any sport we choose to follow, with access via television, the internet, our phones etc at the drop of a hat. I also am lucky that (until this pandemic) travel has never been easier or cheaper, and it is through this that I became an Angels fan. In 2017 myself and my family went on holiday to California and on one of our stops we made a base for ourselves in Anaheim, about 10 minutes from the Big A. I have always been a big fan of all sports anyway, so I was looking at local sports teams to get my fix of it whilst I was over in the United States and discovered the Angels were the local Anaheim ball team, the rest is history.
I looked up the Angels game schedule and they happened to be playing at Angel Stadium whilst we were in Anaheim, my family knew that I’d always wanted to see a ball game so it was pretty easy to convince them to add a trip to the stadium to our itinerary. That first ball game I ever saw, luckily for us, was a visit by the Houston Astros, in game the Angels powered to an emphatic 9-1 win. I witnessed the best player in world baseball, Mike Trout, smash a double and Tyler Skaggs stewarding home the game with amazing efficiency. I consider myself very lucky to see Skaggs in person, at his best, before we tragically lost him in 2019. When we came back home to the United Kingdom I started watching the Angels on television whenever I could and by the time we went again to California the following year I was a committed Angels fan and had engrossed myself in nearly every game that season.
I consider myself very lucky to see Skaggs in person, at his best, before we tragically lost him in 2019.
Whilst Trout is an obvious favourite player of mine I was thrilled that my first game at Angel Stadium coincided with Justin Upton hitting his first homer as an Angel (and the 250th of his career), seizing on Tyler Clippard’s fastball over the middle of the plate. I think that, in some respects, Trout is so good that when fans get to see such a once in a generation player on their team, week in week out, they can become a bit blinded by the talent of the players around them at times and forget how lucky we are to have the likes of Shohei Ohtani, David Fletcher and Albert Pujols, even if the team has failed to live up to our very high expectations that these superstars of baseball bring to us, as fans.
By a quirk of fate, the Angel’s World Series win in 2002 happens to be the year I was born, perhaps it was fate that led me to Anaheim and that first ever game in 2017. I will never forget the buzz of that first time at Angel Stadium, seeing how proud the locals were of their team. I honestly believe that in the upcoming 2021 season we could be a competitive team, we have a good offense, but that’s never been the problem, we desperately need a quality Starting Pitcher. Whilst we have made what feel to me to be a couple of good bullpen signings we need an out and out star in that rotation. Andrew Heaney is solid, Griffin Canning has been solid, but adding a Trevor Bauer in to that rotation and hopefully getting Ohtani back to full fitness our pitching will be much improved.
If you would like to share your own memories of how you became an Angels fan, about Britain’s own baseball heritage or your view on anything Angels related for Views Over the Pond please get in touch.