Saturday, August 11, 2007

Day 48: Goodwin Field

All photos from Hollywood Blvd and the Orange County Flyers are available on Flickr.
We finally shook ourselves awake in time to do some sightseeing in Los Angeles yesterday. And what did we see? A classic LA traffic jam. After spending an hour and a half on I-5 and the 101, but only covering 30 miles, we finally arrived at Grauman's Chinese Theater. We walked down Hollywood Blvd, looking at all the stars on the Walk of Fame. Apparently, they don't have very high standards to get your name down because some people with very questionable talent, such as Judge Judy and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, had stars. Its not all TV judges and 80s sitcom stars though, TV's and films luminaries are there as well, like Chevy Chase and Big Bird. After a quick lunch it was back onto the freeway to head to the Orange County Flyers game. Guess what? More traffic! This time it took us 2 hours to get from LA to Fullerton and we arrived just in time for first pitch.

We grabbed some food and drinks and took our seats down the third base line. Shortly after we sat down, two members of the Flyers dance team, the Fly Girls, asked if we wanted to be the seat upgrade fans of the game. Of course we jumped at the opportunity and were lead to the Islands Patio. It was just a couple of camping chairs located at the top of one of the infield sections but was decorated with fishing nets and lanterns to give it a tropical feel. Here we also got to meet the Flyers mascot - Coal Train. He is a sorry excuse for a mascot. First of all, the letters and numbers on his jersey are falling off. Secondly, he talks. While we were waiting to be introduced Coal Train was carrying on a conversation with the PA guy the whole time. The PA guy even informed Mr. Train that he was not supposed to talk, to which he responded "whatever" and proceeded to block Peter's view of the field for an inning.

After finally getting settled in, we got to take in the stadium and see some exciting Golden League baseball. When not hosting the Flyers, Goodwin Field is the home of the Cal State Fullerton Titans, a perennial college baseball powerhouse. Instead of retired numbers on the outfield wall, Goodwin Field has the years the Titans won the College World Series. There is also a bar area that has a list of all the years they made it to the World Series and another Wall that has a long list of National Players of the Year and All-Americans.

So far this trip Peter and I have seen a wide range of bad independent league baseball. In Evansville, it was all pitching and no hitting, but in New Jersey it was just the opposite. We expected big things from the Golden League because we only knew about the league because Jose Canseco and Rickey Henderson both played here last season. We expected to see a lot of old washed up pros still playing for the love of the game, but we didn't recognize anyone and the oldest player was 28. It was a lot better of a game than our two previous independent league stops. The Flyers scored in every inning but the fourth and fifth but the Yuma Scorpions kept battling back, briefly taking the lead twice. The star of the game was Peanut Williams, the oldest player on the team, with 2 Home Runs, 4 RBI, and an Hit-By-Pitch. The Flyers booster club - the "Caboosters" have a nice tradition of passing the hat after a player hits a home run. They do the same thing at Saint Paul Saints games but in Saint Paul the money goes to charity. In Fullerton the money goes to the player. After Peanut's second homer of the evening, Peter threw in $1.46 to buy him a beer. Both starting pitchers fared pretty well. The Scorpions starter Roger Luque, who wears number 22 and looks an awful lot like Roger Clemens, last 7 innings and gave up 6 runs while the Flyers Mike Wollery also went 7 and gave up 5. Things got interesting when the Scorpions went to the pen. Reliever Marc Sikora hit a batter, gave up a triple to Gray Templeton II, then hit another batter before being lifted and Ray Devaul gave up 8 more runs over the final two innings to provide the 14-5 Flyers' victory.

Tomorrow, we're still waiting for the Dodgers to get home, so well check out the Getty Center and watch some more Golden League action in Long Beach.

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 2
views from park - 2
view to field - 3 (views were blocked by fence posts throughout most of the park)
surrounding area - 4 (would be higher if school was in session)
food variety - 5 (they had a large variety, but were out of everything, so points deducted)
nachos - 5
beer - 3 (poor quality! decent price.)
vendor price - 6 ($5 for 2 tacos?)
ticket price - 7
atmosphere - 3 (trying to give away tickets for remaining home games does not bode well for this category.)
walk to park - 2
parking price/proximity - 9 (free, next to park, would be a 10 if there wasn't a fence to walk around)
concourses - 1 (disconnected, have to walk around the press box or through seats...also acts as a dual concourse with neighboring field)
team shop - 2 (you mean team table?)

best food - tacos
most unique stadium feature - "Pass the Hat" for player homeruns
best jumbotron feature - witty sayings after each out typed on board
best between-inning feature - us being "seat upgrade fans of the game"

field dimensions - 330/400/330
starters - Roger Luque (YUM) v. Mike Woolery (OC)
opponent - Yuma Scorpions
time of game - 2:47
attendance - 801
score - 14-5 W
Brewers score that day - 5-4 W

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