One of my favorite days of the year is my first trip back to Angel Stadium in the Spring.
As a season ticket holder, Angel Stadium is pretty much my Summer home. Seeing the fans that sit in my area, as well as the staff is like returning home after a long vacation.
Today was that day. And it was wonderful.
Driving into the stadium with my friend, the parking attendant greeted us with a "Go Halos!" and I felt absolutely giddy. In through the Left Field entrance we went, stopping at the base of the escalator to say hi to Mario, one of the ushers. My favorite staff member, Jim wasn't at his post yet, so up one level we went.
At the top of the escalator were two more ushers that I adore, Lyle and Sandy. After greeting them a big hug and catching up for a few minutes, we headed over to our seats in the Terrace out near the left field foul pole. There we met our new usher for the year named Juan. I can tell already we're going to have a fun season.
Our friends started showing up! First Jen and Mayra, a couple of girls we know that sit down on the Field Level stopped by to catch up. Next were Luanne and Mike, our seatmates and Janet, who sits out in the outfield but was able to sit with us tonight.
Next our neighbors showed up. Big hugs again from the grandmother, and her two granchildren have gotten so big since the Fall! The older is even out of his stroller now and can sit in the regular seat without assistance.
Looking down onto the field my heart swelled with pride. There are my boys warming up for the game. The Angels. The usual faces were there - Vlad, GA, Figgy, Howie and Kotchman. We all strained to find the newest Angel, Torii Hunter, and there he was.
Our new pitcher, John Garland started tonight. He did a great job. Some of our younger pitchers were obviously having some stage fright, playing in front of nearly 40,000 people for the first time.
Vlad hit a beautiful homerun.
Still technically a Spring Training game, it was called at 10 innings a tie.
On our way down the escalator, I spotted Jim, my favorite usher. He's the fatherly type that always makes sure you're behaving and says, "Good night, babe" on your way out of the ballpark. I waited through the rush of people to run over and give him a great big hug. And Mario was there so I hugged him too.
Now I'm home ... resting my voice after all of that yelling.
It's so nice to be back at the stadium.