Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Visit to Angel Stadium + 1968 Topps Game Jim Fregosi, and more

1968 Topps Game card of Jim Fregosi, wearing a nice, old-fashioned California Angels helmet.

I recently visited Los Angeles, and took the opportunity to catch an Angels game.  I have a vague goal of visiting more MLB parks, and I'm glad to get Angel Stadium on my list of parks I've been to.  The following is my list of stadiums I've seen games in:

Active stadiums (in no particular order):
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, 1 game
Rogers Centre, Toronto, 1 game
Wrigley Field, Chicago, 1 game
Fenway Park, Boston, 2 or 3 games
Oakland Alameda Coliseum, Oakland, 1 game
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, 1 game

Former stadiums (in no particular order):
Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, between 2 and 5 games
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, 1 game
Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, between 6 and 10 games
Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia, about 50+ games

On this trip, I arrived a few hours too late to catch the only Dodger game while I was in town.  As for other stadiums, I visit Chicago regularly and would like to get to see the White Sox play at home, but so far it hasn't worked out.  I missed an opportunity to see the Royals play at home recently, because I didn't plan ahead.  I'm hoping to add some of San Francisco, Baltimore and Pittsburgh next year (despite it being about 25 years old, Camden Yards in Baltimore is still the "new stadium" to me; I've never been there and my dad and I caught about 10 games over the years at Memorial Stadium), and also maybe getting to Oakland again.

In honor of my visit to Anaheim, I am posting this Jim Fregosi card.  This is the only card I have from the 1968 Topps game; Fregosi is a ground out in the game, but at least he advances the runners!  To me, Fregosi is better remembered as a manager, since he took the Phillies to the World Series in 1993.  I have curious memories of the Angels from my card collection, having watched baseball regularly from 1987-1993.  I don't remember them ever being a serious threat to win a division (I started paying attention just after they won in 1986), but they seemed to have a succession of players that I liked from other teams, like Bob Boone (formerly of the 1980 Phillies), Bert Blyleven, John Candelaria, and briefly Dave Parker (all formerly of the 1979 Pirates), Johnny Ray (former Pirate), Lance Parrish (former Phillie), Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield, and some young talent, like Wally Joyner and Devon White.

I wasn't close enough to Fregosi's retired number at the stadium to get a good picture.  But, here is Fregosi represented on the Wall of Fame at the stadium, on their list of All-Stars and on their list of all-time batting leaders.

Angels Wall of Fame list of All-Stars.
Angels Wall of Fame list of batting leaders.

I read a list of the best MLB stadiums recently, and checked to see where the Angels ranked: almost last.  For all the other stadiums, there was a long paragraph describing the author's ranking, but for the Angels, all it said was, "Meh."  I had a great time, though, and thought the stadium was great.  I think that means that seeing any live baseball is a good experience to me, and I would enjoy any of the MLB stadiums.

Since I just looked through some of my 1970s Topps, and in honor of both the Angels and Fregosi, I'll conclude this post with another Fregosi card and another Angels card.  These are both 1978 Topps cards; the Fregosi card has several creases, and he's with the Pirates.
1978 Topps Don Baylor and Jim Fregosi cards.
As a final remark, I'll mention that I find it slightly interesting as to how Topps changed the card backs from year to year, and in 1978 they included a block that was essentially the same as the 1968 game.  In 1978, the Fregosi gamepiece did a bit more than in 1968; in 1978, Fregosi was worth a single in the "PLAY BALL" game.
Back of 1978 Topps Jim Fregosi.

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