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Monday, February 12, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Los Angeles Angels

Sticking to a name has never been a strong suit for the franchise. Born the Los Angeles Angels, that soon gave way to the California Angels, the Anaheim Angels, the tonguesore of the recent past and even their new name, whatever the hell that is.* Similarly, the ballpark has gone from Anaheim Stadium to Edison International** Field and then Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The one constant is its nickname, the Big A, which will likely get some strong support in this here endeavor. It’s simple, but it works.

The ballpark, the second-oldest in the American League, is blessed in not just nickname. Mike Trout plays half his games here annually. Among ballpark features, that remains the best one.

One request: Please no Disney tie-ins. 
 
* It turns out, their new name is also their oldest name. They’re the Los Angeles Angels again, making them the Duran Duran or Sirhan Sirhan of big league franchises.

**That sounds like the convention that leads to naming the airport in Fargo “Hector International.” Just because you send some flights into Winnipeg doesn’t make you a hub of global activity.

Ballpark History
Built: 1966
Capacity:45,477
Name: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, 2003-present. Also, Anaheim Stadium, 1966-1997, Edison International Field of Anaheim 1998-2003. 
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Wrigley Field (the other one) 1961, Dodger Stadium, 1962-65. 
Distinctive Features:The rock formation beyond the left field fence; low fences in the corners, allowing spectators to whack visiting outfielders in the back with Thundersticks; Big A sign relocated to parking lot; giant Angels caps outside stadium entrance.

Ballpark Highlights:
In 1967, the stadium hosted the All-Star game, the first time the contest was played before a prime time television audience.

In 1974, Nolan Ryan set the American League record for strikeouts in a game, when he fanned 19 Red Sox over the course of 13 innings. He also added 10 walks. And somewhere else in America, an infant future editor of Baseball Prospectus wailed uncontrollably.

In 1985, Angels first baseman Rod Carew singled off Frank Viola for the 3,000th hit of his Hall of Fame career. 

In 1988, home plate umpire Enrico Pallazzo saved the queen.

In 2002, rookie John Lackey pitched the Angels to 4-1 victory in Game 7 of World Series, giving the club its only World Series title.

In 2006, in the first World Baseball Classic, South Korea went 3-0 and eventual championship Japan went 2-1 to advance to the title round.

Selections to Date
San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Park

Seattle Mariners - Cascadia Field

Pittsburgh Pirates - Allegheny Park

Kansas City Royals -Kauffman Stadium

New York Mets - Willets Point

SoSH U at work Posted: February 12, 2018 at 02:48 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, stadium names

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rusty Priske Posted: February 12, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5623721)
I like Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

We should never let them forget that 'of Anaheim' part. It is something that makes the team unique.


(I play the Angels in the Ottawa Start league and I refer to the team as the Los Angeles Angels of Ottawa, in honour of their unwieldy moniker)
   2. Batman Posted: February 12, 2018 at 03:21 PM (#5623725)
Anaheim Stadium of Anaheim

I got to watch the White Sox win an ALCS at that ballpark, so it ranks higher than it should for me.
   3. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5623731)
I like The Big A.
   4. Omineca Greg Posted: February 12, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5623736)
Anaheimish Anaheimesque Anaheimian Anaheimo Anaheimite Anaheimer Anaheimene Anaheimensian Anaheimard Anaheimese Aneheimic Anaheimiot Anaheimaise Orange County Mickey Mouse No Doubt Tim And Jeff Buckley Park Of Anaheim
   5. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 12, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5623768)
Los Angeles Stadium of Anaheim
   6. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: February 12, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5623770)
Anaheim Stadium
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 12, 2018 at 04:33 PM (#5623785)
I propose: The Halo.
   8. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: February 12, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5623791)
Angels Stadium

Ain't broke. Don't fix it.
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5623805)
I like The Big A.


It has to be "The Big A"

I grew up in SoCal in the 70's and early 80's and it was never know as anything else. It's simple and elegant. Do they still actually have the big A or did they bin it when they redid the stadium?

Don't care though, it should be the Big A.

Just realised you mentioned the "A" was moved to the parking lot. If it's still there, then there is no choice..."The Big A" it must be.
   10. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 12, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5623840)
It should no more be named "The Big A" than Wrigley Field should be named "The Friendly Confines."


Angels Stadium

Ain't broke. Don't fix it.

Wasn't broke for three decades when it was Anaheim Stadium.
   11. BDC Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:06 PM (#5623882)
Anaheim must be the major-league city with the thinnest minor-league past – aside from cradles of the game like New York, Boston, Philly, Cincinnati, etc., which are a different story. The only minor-league club I could find on B-Ref representing Anaheim was the 1941 Anaheim Aces, who folded after one season. I don't know what park they played in.

This is unusual, because even places like Bloomington MN and Arlington TX hosted a minor-league team for a while before getting their major-league franchises: the minor-league park was the stepping-stone to the franchise. (The ML Angels of course did play in Los Angeles while waiting for the place in Anaheim to be designed and built, instead of being placed directly there.

All of which is to say that there's no deep association with anything there, so whatever the locals want to call it … though it seems there's already disagreement :)
   12. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:16 PM (#5623886)
There was another postwar Anaheim team in the Sunset League, a league I've never heard of.
   13. BDC Posted: February 12, 2018 at 07:30 PM (#5623895)
Thanks, Crispix, that's very interesting. Not a prominent league, as you say. The Aces were in the California League; Anaheim never had a PCL team.
   14. chisoxcollector Posted: February 12, 2018 at 08:39 PM (#5623926)
I grew up in the Anaheim area, and attended about 200 or so games from about 1990 to 1997. In 1991 I started getting autographs during batting practice, and eventually in the parking lot before and after games. I’m a die hard White Sox fan to this day based almost entirely on the fact that White Sox players were particularly nice to me during those formative years. In particular, Matt Merullo, Craig Grebeck, Lance Johnson, and an up and comer named Frank Thomas were ridiculously nice to this aspiring baseball fan in 1991.

Anyway, I agree it has to be “The Big A”.
   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 12, 2018 at 09:14 PM (#5623944)
It should no more be named "The Big A" than Wrigley Field should be named "The Friendly Confines."


Balderdash. The friendly confines is a generic term that could describe any older stadium or park with a retro feel.

There actually is a big A. It was the original scoreboard, is still there in the parking lot and is a unique landmark.
   16. Shredder Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:07 PM (#5623958)
When I was a kid we always either called it the Big A or Angels Stadium. The latter has a nice symmetry with Dodgers Stadium.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5623971)
the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" scam - how was that perceived locally, and was it a net gain for the owner, cash-wise and reputation-wise?

I have wondered.
   18. ajnrules Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:59 PM (#5623978)
Mike Trout Park

Wrigley Field of Anaheim
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:05 PM (#5623979)
The Big A. Bigly.
   20. Shredder Posted: February 12, 2018 at 11:25 PM (#5623983)
the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" scam - how was that perceived locally, and was it a net gain for the owner, cash-wise and reputation-wise?
Well, I didn't live there at the time, but followed it pretty closely. They made a larger push into LA County with billboards and and other media buys and stuff as part of it. How was it perceived? I don't think Orange County people liked it very much, but it ultimately didn't really impact attendance or the fan base in general. Was it a net gain? Well, they're making a lot of money, and the franchise is worth a lot more than it used to be, but I don't know how much of that, if any, can be linked to associating themselves with LA. At this point, I don't think anybody cares except for people who want to make jokes. I think Arte got what he wanted. When you see them on a scoreboard, they're basically "LAA", which I always interpret at LA Angels. More often than not the Anaheim is just dropped.

People always want to make a big deal out of the regional differences, but Orange County is Los Angeles to pretty much anyone who doesn't live there. It's like saying "Naperville isn't Chicago" or "Westchester isn't New York City". Yes, OC and LA not within the same county or corporate boundaries, but when you turn on NBC at 5:00, you get the news from KNBC, the LA channel. It's the same market for all intents and purposes. Nobody seemed to care when the L.A. Rams played in Anaheim (though the stadium kind of sucked, except when they could sell 65,000 tickets in the 1986 playoffs).
   21. JAHV Posted: February 13, 2018 at 02:16 AM (#5624013)
As a long-time resident of Anaheim, Orange County isn't LA and I make sure to let people know that if they think otherwise. I also hated the team name change and still do. The change wasn't popular in OC, and particularly not in Anaheim, but it was done at a time when Arte Moreno was spending money on the team and they were competitive just about every year in the AL West, so it didn't really keep fans away. Had it happened during a fallow period, I think more people would have turned on Moreno than normally would have when the team was down.

As for the stadium, I like "The Big A." That's what I called it as a kid, and that landmark is still iconic. I drive by it several times a week and always notice it and think of baseball.
   22. Lassus Posted: February 13, 2018 at 07:18 AM (#5624023)
As a long-time resident of Anaheim, Orange County isn't LA

I was never a long-time resident, about two years total, on and off. My friends and I considered everything in the Thousand Oaks/Newport Beach/Riverside triangle Los Angeles. P.S. I am not a crank.
   23. BDC Posted: February 13, 2018 at 08:48 AM (#5624052)
Nobody seemed to care when the L.A. Rams played in Anaheim

Yes, it's pretty standard for NFL teams to play outside the cities they're named for. The Eagles are the only team in their division for many years now, for instance, that has played in their actual city.

The Angels seem to be the sourest of these cases in pro sports. From the outside I would reckon it is because of the constant name changes. If they'd just stuck with one name all along, even if it was "LA Angels," they'd be better off.
   24. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: February 13, 2018 at 09:41 AM (#5624084)
It should no more be named "The Big A" than Wrigley Field should be named "The Friendly Confines."

That's an argument for calling it The Big A, not against it.
   25. villageidiom Posted: February 13, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5624086)
Gene Autry Arena.

OK, first, this place has to be named for Autry. He went to the owners' meeting to make a case that he should get the broadcast rights to an LA-based expansion team, and so impressed them that he got the expansion team, too. He moved the team to Anaheim and to this stadium. Before Disney he was the only owner the team ever knew. He was an all-around good guy. Fight me.

And second, I expect an even bigger fight over the use of "arena" to describe a baseball park. It's a word used throughout the world to describe a place like this. Yes, open air; yes, huge capacity. When paired with the name Autry it works better than Autry Field, Autry Stadium, and Autry Park. The Big A can stand for Angels, Anaheim, Autry, and/or arena. It fits. This might be the only case where it fits*, but it fits.

*Except maybe Tropicanarena? Nah, that sounds like an intestinal bug.
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: February 13, 2018 at 10:20 AM (#5624121)
OK, first, this place has to be named for Autry.


The Saddle.
   27. BDC Posted: February 13, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5624130)
The Saddle

Great name for returning from road trips :)
   28. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 13, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5624256)
Gene Autry Arena.

OK, first, this place has to be named for Autry. He went to the owners' meeting to make a case that he should get the broadcast rights to an LA-based expansion team, and so impressed them that he got the expansion team, too. He moved the team to Anaheim and to this stadium. Before Disney he was the only owner the team ever knew. He was an all-around good guy. Fight me.


You would've owed me a coke if I'd noticed this thread earlier, though I'd go with Autry Park or Autry Stadium.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: February 13, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5624264)
*Except maybe Tropicanarena? Nah, that sounds like an intestinal bug.


To be fair, that doesn't mean it wouldn't have been a suitable name for the Suncoast Dome.

   30. Shredder Posted: February 13, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5624431)
I was never a long-time resident, about two years total, on and off. My friends and I considered everything in the Thousand Oaks/Newport Beach/Riverside triangle Los Angeles. P.S. I am not a crank.
This is the correct view. Though I would extend it a little north to San Bernardino, but that's just nit-picking.
   31. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5624505)
As for the stadium, I like "The Big A." That's what I called it as a kid, and that landmark is still iconic. I drive by it several times a week and always notice it and think of baseball.
The Big A is perfect, as it can refer to both the Angels and to the city of Anaheim. Also, there's literally a big 230-foot-tall A in the stadium parking lot.
I was never a long-time resident, about two years total, on and off. My friends and I considered everything in the Thousand Oaks/Newport Beach/Riverside triangle Los Angeles. P.S. I am not a crank.
Orange County is the fifth most populous county in the United States, and wants its own identity. Los Angeles has over three times the population, along with all the media power that goes with that. It is what it is.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: February 13, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5624520)
My only time at this park was an April 2001 game. It was known as Edison Field at the time. I don't remember much about the game, but I would have been skeptical if someone had told me that a world championship would be there in 18 months.
   33. Zach Posted: February 13, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5624597)
The Los Angeles Angels Stadium of Anaheim.

That team name needs to persist somehow.
   34. stevegamer Posted: February 14, 2018 at 04:01 PM (#5625067)
I really think the options are either something with Autry or the Big A.
   35. oscar madisox Posted: February 14, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5625266)
This is another example of the current name working well, although Anaheim Stadium is better. Pick Angel Stadium or Anaheim Stadium and you can still call it the Big A, which, for me, is too slang to be the official name.
   36. Howie Menckel Posted: February 14, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5625284)
thanks much to the locals for their varied perspective on my query in #17

I should not be surprised at such a productive discussion; maybe I should stop lurking in OTP threads

:)
   37. Baldrick Posted: February 14, 2018 at 11:00 PM (#5625316)
The Big A is a nickname, not an actual name.
   38. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: February 15, 2018 at 02:39 AM (#5625335)
Angels Stadium of Anaheim.

I'm in the camp that 'The Big A' is what you call it, not what you name it.
   39. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 15, 2018 at 09:46 AM (#5625378)
Orange County is the fifth most populous county in the United States, and wants its own identity.


And Brooklyn is the 4th largest city in America.
   40. SoSH U at work Posted: February 15, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5625392)
And Brooklyn is the 4th largest city in America.


Welcome back, your dreams were your ticket out.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: February 19, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5626793)
Nominations will close this afternoon.

   42. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5627401)
Nominations will close this afternoon.

In theory.
   43. . . . . . . Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5627419)
And Brooklyn is the 4th largest city in America.


This is giving Orange County too much credit. More like, Suffolk County is larger than Nassau so why should we call them just 'Long Island"?
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5627444)
In theory.


No, they were closed. I just won't be able to get the voting thread out until tonight.

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