Having spent Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, I had the chance to attend Wednesday’s game at Angel Stadium. Coming in, I was sure the Angels and their fans would be hungry to get a win at home.
Getting into the stadium wasn’t difficult. There were no problems with parking and it wasn’t as crowded in Anaheim as it was in Los Angeles the day before. As we walked towards the entrance, I noticed a good number of Dodger fans making their rounds.
Before we got to our seats, we went searching for a sharpie but failed finding one despite being directed to four booths. Empty handed, we finally sat down to see the Dodgers partaking in batting practice.
Some of the bullpen was out fielding fly balls while Dodger fans lined up against the wall trying to get their attention and grab some autographs. Over the course of the pregame festivities, I saw Clayton Kershaw signing a few balls from fans behind the dugout. Miguel Rojas, Dee Gordon, Andre Ethier, and Yasiel Puig also found some time to meet some of the fans lined up down the first-base line.
As the game started, it became apparent that Dodger fans were going to make their presence felt all night. By looking around the crowd, it seemed like that nearly half of those in attendance were in blue. In fact, the section we were sitting in had a high number with the row behind me almost entirely Dodger fans.
It almost felt like it wasn’t a road game for the Dodgers, except for all the Angel signs around the stadium, and the Dodgers hitting first in their grey jerseys. The first time it truly felt like it was an Angel home game was when Puig took his first at-bat. From the moment the PA announced said his name, he was showered with loud boos.
To counter all the Angel fans, a “Let’s Go Dodgers” chant began and became very pronounced. When he ended up getting a double, the Dodger fans approved, while some around me got on their feet.
The very next inning brought more celebration as Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers an early lead with a solo home run. Since I came to the game wearing a Kemp jersey, I immediately stood up and started to give high-fives to all the Dodger fans around me.
When Tuesday night’s hero, Ethier, stepped to the plate, one of the Dodger fans yelled out, “Don’t swing like Pujols!” Ethier then proceeded to have an RBI double which only brought about louder Dodger cheers.
Angel fans remained pretty non-existent again until Puig’s next plate appearance. Of course, he was again greeted with boos, this time around, I noticed a young girl sporting a Puig shirt stand up and try to rally the other Dodger fans.
During this time, those around me made note of how they needed their tickets to get back into the section. This was a slight inconvenience for them since they couldn’t easily access their tickets since they were either in their seats or deep in their pockets.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning that I noticed a pro-Angel chant going on. Mike Trout’s at-bat came with some “M-V-P” chants, but those quickly went away by the time he flied out. The “M-V-P” chants returned the next inning, but this time it from Dodger fans for Puig.
It looked like that was the beginning of interaction between the two fan bases as rivaling chants of “Let’s Go Dodgers” and “Let’s Go Angels” were heard during Adrian Gonzalez’s at-bat. I am assuming the Angel fans were trying to find something to cheer for since their bats were not doing much up until that point.
Even Dodger fans were surprised to see the Angels being stifled by none other than Dan Haren. One of the fans behind me made a comment along of the lines of the real Dan Haren not being on the mound for the Dodgers. Regardless, fans still appreciated Haren’s effort.
When his perfect game bid ended in the sixth, he was greeting warmly by a loud ovation from the Dodger fans while Angel fans cheering their hit of the night.
The Angels looked to be finding something with Hank Conger on his way to third from a David Freese single, but Puig gunned him down with an amazing throw to Justin Turner. Dodger cheers turned into boos as Mike Scioscia came out of the dugout, but he didn’t challenge the play as Dodger fans continued to cheer.
The later innings were filled with Rally Monkey video calls, I was sure this would have brought Angel fans into the game, but it wasn’t as loud as I thought. Out of the four appearances, the only time I felt the Angel fans were really trying to cheer was the second time when it accompanied the Haren’s removal from the game.
Throughout the night, I honestly didn’t feel I had a road game experience. The Dodger fans were cheering throughout the whole game. I will admit that the Angel fans were louder when they needed to be, but it was only in short moments.
Overall, as a Dodger fan, it was a good night. The rivalry among the fanbases was awesome, and since the Dodgers won, having bragging rights for another night was priceless.
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