Angels Opening Day Checklist: Don’t Leave Home Without…

The Angels Opening Day is finally here and I can barely contain my own excitement! In just a few…well…in just a few too many hours for my taste, I’ll be at the game. Still, hours. We’re down to hours! Isn’t that exciting? However, it is important to remember that attending Opening Day, or any other ballgame for that matter, is much like any other festive, celebratory occasion: in your excitement it’s all too easy to forget the darndest of things. But, with a little thought and preparation you can avoid any potentially disastrous forgetfulness and ensure your complete ballgame enjoyment.

Submitted for your entertainment, here is my helpful Angels Opening Day checklist. Did you remember to bring:

1. Tickets!

Because you can’t get into the ballpark without tickets, right? Yeah, I know. Ticketmaster, Stubhub and the like all have numbers you can call in a pinch in you lose your tickets. But, as someone who once had their Nine Inch Nails ticket swiped in the ladies room in between the Queens of the Stone Age set and the main event, I can tell you that as fast as they really do try to rectify these situations and get you back in your seat, standing in customer service with the feeling that you’re missing the first song, first pitch, etc. is not fun. Yeah. These babies went into my purse seconds after I snapped the photo. I recommend confirming possession of said tickets before you start the car to head for the stadium.

2. Cash…probably kind of a lot, actually.

This is one of those not so fun parts of the game. But ‘buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks’ is an indelible part of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, after all. Not to mention the hot dogs. The tasty, tasty, overpriced beverages. The parking… Need I go on? And I don’t know about other ballparks, but paying with a credit card or ATM always seems to take three times as long, so cash is king.

3. Ball Caps

They protect your face from the sun and when the sun goes down, they protect your head from the cold. They shade your eyes from the glare – all the better to see the game with, my dears. They proclaim your team pride across the stadium in even the largest of crowds. Don’t leave home without them.

4. Fan appropriate attire

Okay, maybe this isn’t exactly difficult to remember if you leave for the game from your home, wearing it all already. But, like so many of us, I am forever dashing off to the game after work, so Day to Night Barbie’s got nothin’ on me. (The reference came from a coworker actually. I left the conference room we were working in wearing a business suit and returned in jeans and an Angels jersey to collect my computer and go. ‘What are you?’ she laughed. ‘Day to Night Barbie?’) And until I figure out that Wonder Woman ‘spin and spin and spin until *poof* your outfit completely changes including perfectly coordinated shoes, jewelry and makeup’ maneuver, I’m going to add ‘remember every piece of your fan appropriate attire’ to the list. Because forgetting my sneakers and going to the ballpark in jeans, jersey and 3.5 inch heels was not exactly my finest moment.

5. Camera

Because if you want to capture some of those great game memories permanently, whether on the field or of yourselves in the stands, you’re going to need a camera. Now, you will note that my case contains considerably more than just the camera – two extra batteries, two extra memory cards and various charging accoutrements, to be precise. What can I say? I’ve been married to an Eagle Scout for going on 13 years and that always be prepared thing? It’s so not just a slogan and, after a few years and numerous demonstrations of it’s usefulness as a philosophy, it rubs off on a person. Running out the battery during a game sucks. So does finding out that the card is full of of pics from a friend’s wedding that you can’t erase yet…or that you left it in the computer. *whistles* So, if you like to take more than just a few random photos, I suggest embracing your inner Eagle Scout – provided the real deal isn’t handy. ;)

6+. The backpack o’ many things…

…o’ many things, including:
1. One jacket for each party in colors that either coordinate with your team or, at the very least, do not coorninate with the colors of the opposing team (unless you have the same colors).
2. A few snacks that don’t require as much of the aforementioned cash. In our case, this is typically a bag of salt and pepper pistachios.
3. Team swag of the useful variety – blankets, warm hats and the like.
4. Team swag of the rally variety. Oh yes, there will be Angels Luchador masks! Regardless of what security says when you enter, they have yet to take them away from us in a moment of rally necessity.
5. Ponchos. Yes, ponchos. Remember what I said about the Eagle Scout thing? Cheap Target ponchos weigh nothing, fit easily in one pocket of the pack and will become your favorite thing in the entire world if one of those infamous April showers catches you in the stands.

And there you have it – check, check and double check – the Opening Day checklist. One additional thing that would be on my list if I could guarantee that my ability to check it off would be anything better than shakey? Managing to calm my excitement enough to get actual work done this morning and afternoon because I have a metric f-ton of work to do before the game. (It’s roughly 204 pounds larger than your standard imperial f-ton, don’t cha know?) Oh well. I’m going to run and try to make more progress on that last one and then, Play Ball!

19 Comments

I love you….is that a Dodgers cap in red white and blue disguise?? Your basic needs are like mine including backpack, camera, tickets, cap, money. Maybe we can meet if you come to Dodger Stadium for a freeway series game??? I’m afraid of the ushers at Angel Stadium. They don’t like any Dodger wear!!!

Thanks Cat! And no, ma’am, that cap is an homage to the Angels prototype for the Dodgers cap. ;) I did not know the Angels ushers were unfriendly to other teams’ fans. That’s too bad. No worries, I would love to meet you at some point and think I will be at Dodgers’ stadium during the next Freeway Series and also in July when the Dodgers play the D-Backs – I will actually leave the red cap at home and root for your Dodgers at that one. :)

– Kristen

Yes this is basically something all baseball fans need when going to a Opening Day. I usually do a run down of what I wear and everything the night before

I have to laugh, Matthew, because it was setting everything out last night and packing the backpack that made me post this. I think we’re all like kids on Christmas Eve before a bg game and just can’t wait.

– Kristen

I think you may have just inspired an entry in me, if it is okay with you that I run with this. I usually don’t take as much to the game (I have once had to go to the ballpark with my suitcase/backpack and literally had the bomb dogs sniff it. I’ve also taken my school backpack to a game and come home absolutely exhausted), but the things are a bit different. However, there are so many obvious things one must pack, it leads to many faceplam moments.
-Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

Thanks Mateo, that is flattering. By all means, run with it. All I ask of anyone is that if they use a photo or quote or something from this blog, they link back to me or otherwise give appropriate credit…which you probably would always do on your own anyway. :)

– Kristen

Something I’d like to add, and this is by no means directed towards present company: spatial awareness.
Consider the concourse you are using. It is only so wide and, chances are, people are walking in both directions. It is not clever of you and your group to congregate in the middle of the walkway, creating an insurmountable bottleneck. Find a low-traffic area off to the side to hold your ad hoc meetings. As well, while walking, if the concourse happens to be four people wide, that does not mean your group of four should walk in phalanx formation. Somebody may be interested in going somewhere else or getting there at a different pace. Finally, sudden changes in direction could cause physical bodily harm in the more crowded thoroughfares. If you missed your turnoff, look around you and make the safest reroute you can or risk the effects of inertia.
If you’re in the aisle, heading up/down to your seats, recognize the sight lines in your section and consider those “upstream.” Bases loaded with the count full is never a good time to stand idly, scrutinizing your ticket as though a hidden detail will help you finally find your seats. It’s Ticketmaster, not the DaVinci code. As our beloved blogger pointed out above, you’ll be arriving to the game with your tickets or, at the very least, picking them up at will call. You have plenty of time, especially in a major league stadium, to study for the pop quiz.
Once you reach your seats, recognize that there is a structure to the game. After every three outs, there is a break in the action. This is an opportune time to get up, get another beer, and/or use the restroom. If you’re in Row H, seat 8, especially, this is the most considerate time to get up, should you need to leave your seat. Do not wait until the middle of an at-bat to have the seven people to your left have to get up, block the people behind them, etc. [Exception, if you're less than eight years old]
Finally, there is no hall of fame for people who get booted out of games. Yes, the umpire sucks–it’s his job. Yes, the opposing left fielder who hit 45 home runs, batted .330, and single-handedly carried his team through August sucks, which is why HE is getting paid to play the game while you just paid at least two hours salary on your ticket. The guy in the stand who missed the foul ball probably sucks as well because he didn’t run over his pre-school daughter to catch an $8.00 souvenir. Know what really sucks? A lack of creativity in hecklers. Van Mil sucks? Boring, and if repeated often, may get you kicked out. Van Mil can’t hit the strike zone because his release point is nigh-suborbital? That may get you a free beer (past performance are no guarantee of future results). Louder isn’t better, four-letter bombs are unenlightened, and likes-to-fight guy hasn’t been popular since Patrick Swayze did it in Roadhouse.
Sorry, eight games in and have been noticing a few patterns…

Amen! You’ll get no disagreement here, Andy. This post was more about what to bring to the game though. However, the bad/questionable fan behavior during the game post is coming – I’ve been saving photos since last season, she says with an evil laugh. And the Fanly Art of Heckling post is in the side bar under very special posts. ;)

– Kristen

Oops. I was just meaning “bring spatial awareness.” I’m sure you’ll be far more eloquent and entertaining when you address fan behavior. I’m looking forward to it…though I have a feeling most of the bad examples involve a certain shade of blue…

Yes, in blue. Darned Yankee fans! ;) Totally kidding. Thanks for dropping by Andy. I am flattered that you read my rambles from time to time.

– Kristen

Great list, Kristen! Looks like we pack mostly the same things except…the baseball glove. I NEVER sit at a game without my glove on just in case a ball comes my way, and I can catch it without spilling my beer. I’m not a big fan of the ‘subhub’ printout tickets either, but I know you have to take what you can get. I’m still a little disappointed that I don’t have actual tickets stubs as souveniers of my first trip to Fenway last year. I more question, though…how does one take a picture of their camera, lol????
–Mike

Ah yes, the gloves. Gloves are definitely a good idea, Mike. I would prefer real tickets myself but, as you say, we do what we have to do and finances dictate I be a bargain shopper. :) Yeah, I took a photo of my camera with my phone and laughed at the silliness of it all.

– Kristen

Oh, I am totally digging the retro hats, too! Especially the old minor league Angels hat. Beautiful!!!
-Mike

awesome and helpful list! i hope you’re having the best time!

It was a great game, toosoxy! I did have the best time. Don’t worry, your guys will get into it soon…usually right before they pay us a visit. Sheesh!

– Kristen

Hope you had a good time. I watched most of the game on TV. Weaver was un-hitable.

It must have been exciting being there the first time Albert came to the plate, even watching on tv fun.

I’m looking forward to your recap of the game and the pictures.

~Russel

He was so much fun to watch, Russel!! And the crowd was unreal. The recap and photos are up now…just had family Easter/B-day stuff this weekend.

– Kristen

What preparation! I am very jealous of your being able to be there. I watched on TV. It’s been hard, obviously. But hopefully the more I watch the Halos the less it will affect me. I have 11 great years to remember, but, as breakups often go, it’s a process. (BTW, the halo hat… the only gimmicky hat worse than the Pirates’ pill caps of old ;-)
–Jeff

It was an amazing time! Sooooo much fun. Hopefully watching will help your healing process. And, yes, my halos hat is worse…if by worse you mean completely awesome! ;)

– Kristen

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