Angels Baseball- 50 Years of Miracles

Angels Baseball- 50 Years of Miracles

A Story by Talia Renee
"

I love the Anaheim Angels (I stand by Anaheim! L.A. of Anaheim?!) more than any sport team in existance. This is a li summary of that passion....

"

"Light up the Halo!"

 

These words inspire a quick flutter in my heart everytime I hear them. The Anaheim Angels are my favorite baseball team, just like my dad, the man i totally adore. As a small child, I was torn between the popular L.A. Dodgers that my beloved grandpa and everyone else in my family roots for, and the Anaheim Angels, rooted for only by the daddy I adore. But after seeing the 2002 World Series against the San Francisco Giants (winning game 7 with a 4-1 victory at home!), I realized that I wanted a team that could show me what a miracle truly is, and that the only team up to the job was the Anaheim Angels. I was 7 years old when I made what I would later consider a life-shaping decision.

 

Three years later, at age 9, I started playing softball, a passion I continue to proudly pursue. As I learned more about baseball's sister sport, I began to follow baseball more closely. I learned about players and the team's colorful history. I love to sit on my living room floor and cheer on "my boys",  causing my mother to worry when I yell in frustration (which happens more than I'd like). When I open the newspaper in the mornings, I tear into the sports section, frantically checking where we stand in the American League West. Going to Anaheim Stadium- my "home"- is a treat beyond words, especially when I get to witness "another Angel victory" .

 

Despite the happiness the Angels bring me on an almost daily basis, rooting for the Dodgers' freeway rivals while living in a city not far from Los Angeles is often difficult. On sevral occasions I have to deal with experiences spanding from playful banter to idiotic smack talk to near harassment and bullying. Whenever I sport my Torii Hunter t-shirt or my dad's black Angels cap- anything with the Angels logo- I have several people comment on my pride. Usually it's the simple phrase "Angels suck", although I have had people basically go off on me. All I can truly do is take the abuse with my head held high, thank the person for sharing their opinion, and walk away.

 

One day in junior high, I was bragging about the amazing game I'd seen the night before and how we won. A snarky Dodgers fan overheard me and quickly began to mock me for referring to myself as part of the team. I proudly explained to him that yes, I am part of the Anaheim Angels baseball team. My position? Dedicated fan.

 

An undisputed fact that no one can argue is the dedication of Angels fans. In 2009, ESPN Magazine voted the Angels as the number one franchise in Fan Value. You have to be dedicated to follow one of the unluckiest teams in Major League Baseball history. Unlike my dad, I never had to go through that dark periods of the early decades of the Angels existance; it was during the 1990's that the team rose to excellence, and during my childhood that they reached the promised land. I've only seen the winning Angels, the team that visits they play-offs almost every year, the team that kicks some Dodger butt during the Freeway Series, the team that balances skilled veterans with budding talent to achieve a perfect combo.

 

This team has given me more about life than any television show or movie could. I’ve learned about faith and hope and that. I learned that you can’t ever give up, even when you’re down 6-0 in the 5th ‘cause you never know; you might just get a homerun and spark a rally that lasts til the final inning with two outs. (Yes, I’ve happily witnessed a game with this dramatic ending.) The Angels send a shock through my system that makes me believe the words of Jim Fregosi- “YES WE CAN.” Why? Because I’ve witnessed it over and over again: This. Is. A. Team. Of. Miracles.

 

During the 2009 play-offs against the Yankees, I still believed in miracles even when the Yanks were one game away from their zillionth World Series. Even when certain “fans” I knew gave up, I still made sure I was watching the games or listening to them on the radio. A classmate of mine, a Dodger fan, told me I should give up; that it was over, the Yankees won and I should just get over it already. I texted him back the following:

“Baseball is a sport about miracles and seeing the impossible happen everyday. All it takes is one hit or one play to turn around a baseball game. That’s why we watch it; to see real live miracles. ’Cause you never know. It isn’t basketball or soccer or football, where when you’re losing you can give up. Baseball you can always come back. Always.”

 

I believe this with all my heart; I truly believe that you can always win the game, even if at one point you’re down 6-0. In fact, I love being down like that; it gives me a chance to see the impossible, to see a miracle. This, in fact, is probably the greatest reward an Angels fan van recieve: the chance to see miracles. Sometimes, watching Torii Hunter or Peter Bourjos jump the walls the way they do (Spider-Men!), it almost looks like they're flying like real angels. Silly, I know, but it's true. This is a surprising, miraculous team, and watching them play is one of the greatest joys of my life.

 

While looking up certain facts for this piece, I watched video of the final out from Game 7 of the 2002 World Series. As the Angels flooded the field after Erstad's catch, I felt tears fill my eyes. It took 42 painful, unfortunate seasons, but finally the Anaheim Angels did what seemed impossible in back in 1961: they won the World Series. Finally, a ring of our own. Finally, one for the Cowboy. Finally, out of the shadow of the L.A. Dodgers and into the bright spotlight shining from our halos. The 2002 series is proof that nothing in life is impossible and that if you just have pure faith in miracles, there's nothing you can't do. (Considering that this seems like the theme of nearly every Disney sports movie, doesn't it seem appropriate that Mickey Mouse was our owner during this time?)

 

This season marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Angels franchise, under the loving ownership of Gene Autry. While it seems as unlikely as it does every season, the greatest "birthday" gift the Angels could give their fans would be that brass ring once more. Yes, the odds are stacked against us, as usual. But isn't this team about beating the odds, doing the impossible?

 

Yep. I can feel it: Light up the Halo. It's just another Angel victory.

 

****

 

Tomorrow (June 19) is Father's Day. I want to wish my dad a very happy Father's Day and to tell him I love him more than words. Thank you, Daddy, for bringing me into the world of Angels Baseball, for showing me that nothing is impossible and that miracles do happen. You're the greatest coach, friend and dad a girl could ask for and I'm so grateful for al you've given me. I am so proud to wear your number- 4- on the softball field. Every hit, every play, is for you. There's nothing worse than wasted talent and I promise you this- I'm not going to waste it. I'm gonna make you proud. Happy Father's Day.

© 2011 Talia Renee


Author's Note

Talia Renee
This is written in honor of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's 50th anniversary- Happy Birthday Halos!

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Added on June 18, 2011
Last Updated on June 19, 2011
Tags: baseball, angels, anaheim, miracles, sports, angels baseball

Author

Talia Renee
Talia Renee

CA



About
Writing is my life. Whether it's stories or screenplays, I love it. My dream is to write porfessionally for television, as well as write books as often as possible. Besides writing, I love baseball.. more..

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