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Saturday, April.7th /2012
Kenneth A. Lee (Guest Baseball Writer and co-author of the Fastest 30 Ballgames)- I guess the shoe is on the other foot for Chuck in this interview. I met Chuck online a mere few days before he went on his last streak. I had to admit it has been a new goal for me to go on a journey like Chuck is doing for the 3rd time in 5 Years. Over the course of a few days visiting in Marysville, Wa, we conducted a total of 7 combined interviews with each other. We also have Craig Landgren being an expert for Coors Field and submitting a chaser guide for Kauffman Stadium as well. Like I have said a lot in the last 3 years, we all must thank Craig Landgren for creating http://www.ballparkchasers.com so we could all meet and eventually corroborate on the book “The Fastest 30 Ballgames.” Onto today’s interview. Having been to Angel Stadium a lot myself, Chuck Booth and I talked at length about the park.
KL: “Chuck, tell us why you decided to start your record streak in Angels Stadium? Also, what are your impressions on seeing Albert Pujols in the red uniform?”
DB: “I noticed this particular game for day #1 as a possibility for the streak to match up with San Diego all the way back to last September. Each year I do a doubleheader master schedule for all possible parks that you could do 2 games in one day-whether it is by ground or air. I was not as happy when I saw that San Diego has changed their Saturday night games to 5:35 PM PST though. We will keep that for another time though. I liked Los Angeles to start also because of the weather factor. You can pretty much bank on the game being played. The next day I have a doubleheader attempt for Houston and Texas, so it is good weather for the first two days.”
KL: “You know where I am going next, I have had some run-ins with the Ball Park Staff in Orange County, what are your thoughts on the staff there?”
DB: “When In first went to this park in 2005, the staff wore the throwback cracker jack hats and were genuinely enthusiastic to see you walk in the doors. In the years I have been back since the staff seems to be very testy. I somehow think it has a direct result from when Artie Moreno didn’t make them wear those hats anymore.”
KL: “Angel Stadium didn’t rank very high in our book, would you care to explain why you think this is so?”
DB: “I think it is hard to rate KC and LAA’S parks because of all the other cities having brand new facilities. When you think of O.co Coliseum, Tropicana Field now, they are the worst with Miami and Minnesota opening the gates on new parks recently. At least Oakland it talking abut a new park. Toronto, Tampa Bay, Kansas City and LAA seem to be stuck with their parks. Really Angel Stadium is not that bad, it is just against some stiff competition from the rest of the league?”
KL: “The last time at Angel Stadium you parked for free? Where did you do this?”
DB: “I can’t even remember who told me about the spot, but it is right across from E. Orangewood Ave. Basically you drive on W. Chapman ave and take a long windy left after a Denny’s Restaurant, before finally encounter a Fire Hall. If there is no one parked on the street, you can park there for free. I tend to think it is a better option for day games and especially on the weekend. There are lots of offices. I will let the reader try to guess where. I want to park there for the game and get out of there ASAP to drive to Petco Park.”
KL: “What is the food like at Angel Stadium? What do you like there?
DB: “Man the selection is terrible, hotdogs or California Pizza Kitchen personal pizzas for $10 are the best options. You are better of to drive up W.Chapman Ave to eat Little Caesars Pizza before the game. There is also a Denny’s within a mile of the park. Eat before you get in is my honest advice. There is also a Burger King and McDonalds right near the yard as well.”
KL: “What is your favorite method of transportation to the game?”
DB: “Having that free parking spot makes driving all the worth while. I have spent a great deal of time taking the public buses in Orange County. This is an affordable option for sure. Los Angeles does charge a lot for weekday car rentals out of LAX. If you have kids and you are incorporating an Angels game with a visit to Disneyland, there is a Disney Shuttle Bus that runs out of LAX that offers you to and from your Orange County hotel (front curb service). This is the way to go if you are staying in this general area.”
KL: “What about seats? Where do you sit for the games?”
DB: “As you are aware Ken, for guys that like to watch most of the games at the concourse level, this park is not very conducive for that kind of fan experience. I sit in the upper levels anywhere. I will say that anywhere in the park gives you a great view including the waterfalls. At least the tickets are still affordable.”
KL: “Where do you think the Angels will finish up this year?
DB: “Signing Albert Pujols is a huge upgrade on the talent. Even with aging veterans such as: Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells, this team is poised to win the AL West with their starting pitching rotation. I think that Texas will have an off-year and that the Angels will take the division, however I think the Tigers or the Yankees will take them out in the playoffs before they reach the World Series.”
KL: “What advice wold give to a novice Angel Stadium Park Hopper?”
DB: “Whatever travel time you give yourself, double that to ensure you arrive at the game on time if you are coming from a long way away. The highways in the Los Angeles can be pulverizing on traffic, (including public transportation) at any given time.
KL: “Thank you for helping us out Chuck. After all, this is your brainchild!”
Thanks to our Guest Writer Kenneth A. Lee. To find out more about him click here, otherwise you will be seeing a lot of him in these future expert interviews and post game write-ups by Chuck.
Follow Ken Lee on twitter- @seeall30
Follow Chuck Booth on twitter- @chuckbooth3024