My baseball 2022, from Blair Field to Tempe to the Big A.

162 games over 180 days seems like an eternity every March. Yet every Fall it seems like it went by in a blur. Like one day you had the comfort of your favorite team playing nearly every day then suddenly it was gone.

When you are a die hard fan, events in life and events in baseball tend to get tied together. And while every season in baseball and life is unique, this one was special to me and my family.

By now most of us have pretty much forgotten about the MLB lockout. I have at times. But that lockout spurred me to do something I’d been meaning to do for years, attend a college game.

In late February, with no MLB action on the horizon, I took my wife and son to a Long Beach State game at Blair Field and had a blast. The small ballpark, family friendly atmosphere, and watching young men chase their dreams really reminded me of the Class A Bakersfield Dodgers games I went to as a kid.

It was so fun, we went again a couple of weeks later. In fact, I considered a ticket plan. While nothing can replace my beloved Angels, what I crave most in life is time with my son and the college game is a very affordable, fun way to spend time with him.

As much fun as Blair Field was, the moment the lockout ended and reporting dates for Spring Training were announced, I texted my dad about our annual trip. Fortunately we were able to make the annual trek.

The only thing that compares to a day at the ballpark with your son is a day at the ballpark with your dad. At Spring Training, I get both. Three generations at the ballpark is about as close to heaven on Earth as it comes. Add in my wife and stepmom, who made her first trip, and it was a blast.

The smaller parks like HoHoKam offer room to roam around, games for kids, ice cream, and a very relaxed atmosphere. A pitcher for the Rangers handed my son a ball and he spent an hour playing catch with Grammie. Hard to say which one had the most fun there.

The Angels home opener was a bit bittersweet for me. Not because of the Angels loss to the Astros, but because I’d been fortunate to have my best friend live a mile down the street from me for several years and he was moving back to Sacramento the next day. After a decade or so of more great memories than I can count, this was going to be our last night out for a while. Ohtani on the hill and a packed ballpark was a great way to spend it.

Over the course of the remaining 161 games, I saw Ohtani’s brilliance, the incredible Detmers no hitter (on tv), and the handful of other ups to go with the boatload of downs that defined the Angels season.

Most importantly, I spent hour after hour at the Big A with my son. He knows where to find his favorite pizza, frozen yogurt, and can point out several players based on their jersey numbers. Not bad for a kid who was 4 until the last few weeks of the season.

We took some great friends and our bonus nephews to their first game. Our Goddaughter to her first game. And we took Grandma and Grandpa to a game. Nobody spoils a kid more than grandparents at a ballpark.

The Angels hosted Rahul and I along with members of a couple of other Angels sites in a suite. It was cool meeting their new digital team and other writers. AngelsChamps was kind enough to share some Diamond Club tickets and I had a blast with him and his son. And I took in a couple games with John Henry and was with him for Pride Night. So there was plenty of CtPG interaction at the yard.

Perhaps the craziest part of my 2022 baseball year was running into Mike Gallego at breakfast one morning. We chatted, exchanged numbers, and met up again. He’s a great guy, did an interview, and I’m looking forward to seeing him again in Tempe.

Ideally a look back at any year in baseball includes a division title, a trip to the playoffs, perhaps even a World Series title. But even in a lost year for the franchise, a year in baseball can mean so much more.

Hopefully 2023 brings both on field glory and time with family and friends at the yard. But as we wind down 2022, let’s share our baseball memories of this year in the comments below.

I’m thinking this will become a new tradition. In a few years we’ll look back and say “oh, yeah, I remember that” and smile.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

It’s wonderful that you can enjoy the time with your family and passion for the Angels and can share this with us. Merry Christmas and in the New Year I hope you will continue to share with us all.

Trusted Member
1 year ago

This was a cool look back. Thanks for sharing.

1 year ago

Jeff – love your enjoyment and passion for baseball, your family and the Angels which inspired you to write this. I’ll admit I’m feeling Grinch-like (not Gitch). I just am not feeling all warm and fuzzy about the Angels nor about MLB unfortunately. Hopefully by this time next year it will be different.

Still – enjoy reading your enthusiastic and detailed recounts of your baseball adventures.

Last edited 1 year ago by Fansince1971
Super Member
1 year ago

Per Sam Blum of The Athletic, Randazzo will be the new play by play broadcaster for the Los Angeles Angels.