Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Even though we stopped at the grocery store before the game, we still were there three hours before the game. We parked close to the stadium right by one of the entrances in the handicap parking and then walked around the McAfee Coliseum a little. Near the "front" we found the Coliseum Circle World Champions, which is an interesting circle with plaques commemorating the years the Oakland Athletics won the World Series, the Oakland Raiders won the Super Bowl, and the Warriors NBA Champions. The three teams all play in this sports complex area with the Raiders and Athletics sharing the Coliseum and the Warriors playing next door in the Oracle.
The gates finally opened about an hour and a half before the game and we headed to the bleacher section to claim seats. Not that it turned out to be a problem, as there was plenty of wheelchair seating and there ended up being no other wheelchair people. However, there really was only one spot with a place to put Mik and still be able to both sit with him, so it only took one other person getting their first to ruin the companion seating option. There was a guy catching a lot of the balls hit into the bleacher section during batting practice and he gave Mik one of the balls. Mik already has some real MLB balls and he says I can put it in my collection from the trip. Yes, he really can be sweet at times and actually has also been quite well behaved the past few days.
The Mariners took an early lead with two runs in the first. Then it the game went quite quickly until it got to the 7th when the Mariners scored another run. Then in the bottom of the 7th it was exciting with the Athletics scoring four runs to give them a lead and batting through the order exactly. The last inning and a half also went quickly. A nice quick game with an exciting finish with the home team winning, which works for us as we really had no attachment to either team so just sort of rooted for the home team.
Now we are on the road to the campground and will probably get there around 10:40pm. We then have to set up the tent, but at least we have stuff for breakfast already and we do not have to leave to go see the Jelly Belly factory before the Giants game until 10am.
Our goal was to leave the hotel in Anaheim for Oakland by 9am and for once we actually left a few minutes early. There was some traffic in the Los Angeles area, but it quickly cleared up as we headed north out of Los Angeles. It has been smooth going and we just stopped at Subway for lunch. Dad's GPS currently says we should get to the Coliseum where the Oakland Athletics play around 3:15pm. That is way early for the 7:05pm game start time, so we are going to try to find a nearby grocery store to get some food for breakfast at the campground the next few days before we head to the game.
I almost missed the machine at Angel Stadium. I barely noticed it hidden in the really merchandise crowded Team Store. It is actually right next to the non-game day entrance to the Team Store, but when you come in through the ballpark it is way hidden behind the merchandise you see. I chose the design with the Halo A logo that says The A Team Angels Baseball. Mik chose the rally monkey Go Angels design.
Parking at Angel Stadium was nice and close like at Dodger Stadium. The parking is not smack dab next to the entrance, but only because the home plate entrance has a large sidewalk plaza. Leaving the parking lot after the game from here also worked out really fast since the area we parked only had handicap and suite type reserved spaces and not just the general parking traffic, which by the way was not much since most left early due to the 17-3 loss or stayed late to watch the Memorial Day fireworks.
The seats at Angel Stadium were way better than Dodger Stadium, but they have their problems as well. Again we ran into the problem of a bar being in the line of site. That was it for the bad at our seats. The only other accessibility bad was the team store was very cluttered with merchandise and the aisles were barely big enough to navigate through. What made it frustrating, though, was that there were way too many people that worked there getting in the way.
So far the seats we had in section 259 at Angel Stadium are the best seats we have had on the trip. First off we could clearly see the entire scoreboard from our seats and could even easily see the one up behind us if we turned around. We also could see the whole field and even got a great look down into the tiered bullpens below our section. The section was also very clearly a standing section, however, the situation was actually handled very well by a red line a good distance behind our seats. Fans seemed to entirely respect that line and stood behind it and there was also a good usher presence to enforce it and just keep a better atmosphere compared to Dodger Stadium where ushers seemed entirely missing from our area of the stadium.
Mik liked that we actually had cup holders, which were annoyingly missing from Dodger Stadium's handicap seating. However, the cup holder situation was not that great. First off, they did not actually have a cup holder for every seat/space in the handicap section. It worked fine for us as we had two cup holders for our three seats/spaces, but it sure would not work ideally if we each had had a drink. Also, the cup holders were up on the high bar that was in the line of sight and caused even further blockage of the line of sight, especially when you put a drink in the cup holder. I had no idea that cup holders would turn out to be such a hot point related to the accessibility reviews, but it certainly has been an issue at the last two games.
Overall a great accessible experience. The bar and cup holder in the line of sight is annoying, but typical. The fact that there is a cup holder and the otherwise clear view of the whole field and scoreboard make up for that minor inconvenience. The elevators are not exactly that easy to find, but there are plenty of ushers around that are helpful.
Mik's main meal at Angel Stadium was chicken tenders from Ruby's Diner. Mik says they were not very good.
At Ruby' Diner he has had a vanilla shake. They technically only offer the Vanilla Caramel shake, which I got, but they easily accommodate making that as just a vanilla shake. Mik thought the shake was okay, but he did not like that it was impossible for him to suck through the straw. I did drink my vanilla caramel one through the straw, but it definitely takes some sucking power.
Dad got the Barbecue Beef Brisket Sandwich at the Beach Pit BBQ and I had a burrito from Angelitos. Dad liked the sandwich, but it was a little dry. Mik seemed to like the bite of it he tried, but he is kind of partial towards liking chicken more than beef. The burrito was good and like the shake they were accommodating making it. They make it fresh and asked since I wanted without meat if I wanted extra of some of the other ingredients and Dad had them add more cheese.
Mik also had some nachos, but I forgot to photograph those. He said those were good, but there was a lot of them. The nachos can come with a lot of toppings, such as meat, but Mik had them with just the cheese. In the end they would have been a better meal option than the chicken tenders.
At the Angel game Mik chose the red mini bat with a white Angels Halo A logo on it for his collection. It is pretty simplistic, but it seems that is about as good as it gets for mini bats almost everywhere. At least it is Mik's favorite color and it was on reduced price.
Angel Stadium is the first stadium I was unable to find a stadium ball at. PetCo Park at least had then even though I chose the 40th Anniversary Padres one instead. I almost had to settle for a very dull white baseball with a simple Angels Halo A logo, but at the checkout we found a few more interesting balls. They had some other special ones like a Torii Hunter one and an Opening Day 2009 one, but neither of those meant anything to me. The silver one with the Angels logo and with the word Angels also did not strike me as all that special, but it at least looks way cooler than the plain one I almost ended up with.
The American League side of the car finally has a sticker on it. Dad put it on right when we got back to the hotel after the game. The sticker is of the A Angel logo on a baseball. Tonight we should get another American League sticker at the Oakland Athletics game.