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Stay Classy Los Angeles… Both of You!

06/21/2010

If you’ve seen my previous post on the matter, you’ll know I’m of the opinion that being a fan of the Dodgers and Angels is not mutually exclusive. i.e., if you’re a fan of one, it doesn’t preclude you from being a fan of the other.  This week, I’ve caught some abuse for my Dodger allegiance from the gloating Angels faithful.  It’s disappointing because I personally laud Angels fans for “staying classy”… That may be true, but their road to the #1 Franchise in Sports definitely averts the high road when it comes to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The converse can be said as well.  During the freeway series at Chavez Ravine, Dodger fans could be heard chanting “Angels Suck.”  However, I’m sure both teams could agree on a Yankee chant in the same vein?

Having said that, I’ve been guilty of being less than classy, so my apologies to the Angels, and Mike James.  Both of whom I personally cost a game back in the day.

Once upon a time, I went to a game with a good friend of mine, Chris Beckner.  It was some time ago; they were still the Anaheim Angels, just a couple years coming off their “California Angels” years.  We were in left field, first row behind the fence (actually second, they did not seat the first).  To give you an idea how long ago it was, we were smoking cigars in our seats.  It wasn’t allowed then either, but nobody cared (or dared) to inform us.

Mike James Autograph on a 1996 Leaf Signature Series (Silver)Our seats were on the aisle, a yard of concrete from the Angels’ bull pen. The game was languishing, and they sent some pitchers in to warm up, one of whom was Mike James.  Mike was a lanky, rock-n-roll looking sort of guy.  It was 1998, his last year was with the Angels, so his “rebel” persona was rare at that time.

When James entered the bully, a kid asked him for his autograph.  The kid was promptly blown off.  I proceeded to razz the relief pitcher, saying enough to get under his skin.

He flipped me off.

“Oh great, flipping me off in front of the kids.  Nice move James… Hey look everybody, it’s ‘No-Game James.'”

With each verbal dagger, I dug deeper under his tattooed skin.  It’s a good thing for him that I did not know his middle name was “Elmo” at the time.

Mike James got called in, and proceeded to get lit up by the opposition, and the Angels lost.

Years later, Chris, a Newport resident, ran into James at The Stag Bar.  Reluctantly, he mentioned the encounter…

“Dude, I remember that… I never remember that stuff.”  Apparently, the “No-Game James” moniker stuck… He was agreeable enough, however, and they proceeded to drink to the occasion.

What’s the moral to this story?  I don’t really have one.  However, if you are a professional sports team,  it’s safe to say that it’s better to have me on your side than not.

…oh, and stay classy Anaheim… err… Los Angeles… both of you.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenelyn permalink
    06/25/2010 8:35 am

    I’m not in that category of “gloating Angels faithful” am I? The Halos certainly didn’t play well enough to win last night. I laughed when the lights went out. Maybe they were just trying to end the misery. Funny story about James.

    • 06/25/2010 8:38 am

      You are not… I “debate” just as much with Dodger fans when I tell them I like the Angels. We gave James the business that day.

  2. 06/26/2010 10:56 am

    I turn away kids all the time when they want an autograph. Can I get a nickname?

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