When visiting California, you have many options for taking in a baseball game. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim may be the best choice when it comes to providing value, family entertainment and top notch competition. Angel Stadium exists in the city confines of Anaheim, a short drive from Disney Land and about an hour away (with traffic factor) from Los Angeles, home to their cross league rival Dodgers.
The Angels officially joined Major League Baseball in 1961, and have been owned by former singing cowboy Gene Autry and The Walt Disney Company among others. During the time of ownership by Disney (1997-2002), the Angels' ballpark underwent some major renovations including the construction of the "California Spectacular", a rock mountainside with trees and erupting geysers in the outfield that spray following every Angels' home run. Disney also instituted a rabid use of fireworks, invented the "Rally Monkey" (an inspirational video board mascot type) and allowed for purchase "thunder sticks" for fans, all three of which are still incorporated into games today.
A view of the "California Spectacular" in the outfield — Photo courtesy of palmspringsdude
The stadium has a 360 degree concourse, meaning you can walk around the whole park. In the outfield, there are plenty of games for the kids, e.g., radar guns and batting cages to keep their interest during the long middle innings.
The only thing better than a super fun place to watch a game is a super fun inexpensive place, which is what Angel Stadium is. Their most unbeatable deal is the "Friends and Family Fun Pack" which allows you and three others admission, hot dogs and sodas for under $60 total. For those of you who prefer your sodas to have a little kick, the Angels offer some of the most reasonably priced beers in the game.
Since 2002 when the Angels won the World Series against Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants, they have been extremely competitive. Under manager Mike Scioscia, they've been to the playoffs five times since '02, all as a result of winning the A.L. Western Division. Their current owner Arte Moreno has shown a propensity to spend money and sign top tier free agents such as Vladimir Guerrero, Torii Hunter and more recently mega star Albert Pujols.
To find Angel Stadium, look no further than the giant "A" off the freeway, which lights up when the Angels win to inform those who couldn't be in attendance. Make sure to bring cash if you are driving to the stadium, as parking does cost money. This may seem like a detractor, but the parking lot scene can be fun, with many friendly fans tailgating and hanging out. If you are trying to save a little money, you can take the MetroLink train in round trip for less than the cost of parking.
The Angels' "A", which informs freeway drivers when the Angels win — Photo courtesy of palmspringsdude
While the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim may not be the Golden State's oldest or most storied team, they do offer an amazing game day experience at an affordable price that can't be matched. Make sure to check them out if you are in the area!