Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

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Baseball is Back!

The beloved sport of baseball is back for its 2021 season. The MLB has been working on a plan for the season that will allow for the full 162 games and fans will be excited to hear that they are working with each city to provide safe and limited seating for their stadiums.

In Anaheim, the Los Angeles Angels are ready to take on the new season. Fans of the Angels are slated to be able to experience in-person games again as news surfaced about Orange County giving the green light to allow 20% capacity at the Angel Stadium for home games. That means roughly 9,000 fans will be able to attend. Though fans will recognize the difference from the average 37,000 supporters per game from the 2019 season, many see this as a start to recovery for all the games that were missed.

Long-time Angels fan Kevin Despart remembers his first core memory of becoming an Angels fan. “The earliest I could remember was 1986, I was 10 years old at that point, and [the Angels] were in the American League Championship Series. The Angels were one game away from going to the World Series but unfortunately lost,” he shares.

Although they struck out with a defeat that year, Despart recalls the good times he spent with his family and friends, all Angels supporters watching the game. “I remember what a loss like that meant to the fans, some devastated by what they just saw on the scoreboard,” he says. “This showed me how much passion the fan base had for its team, it’s what really started my fandom growing up. Watching with people with the same passion for the Angels winning is an indescribable experience.”

Despite being excited to see the Halos back on the field, Despart voiced his concerns about the opportunity to go watch his team play, noting that he would be “hesitant to go. Maybe once my wife and I are vaccinated it could change my story.”

“I think it’s good for the fans because of how much they missed watching them, and also the players because they did well with the empty stadiums last season but it may have seemed a bit boring,” he expressed regarding the possibility of allowing some fans into the stadium.

He continued saying that with the right precautions, everyone should hopefully be safe. “With the majority of baseball games being played outdoors, and with distanced seating, and with the right precautions taken, I believe it should be safe enough.”

One Angels fan, however, is very determined to go watch his team play. Elias Mercado, 16, is hungry to see his team in action. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a game. The prices might get high, but I’m for sure going to try my best to get a ticket,” he said.

One of the precautions Elias will be taking is avoiding the purchase of merchandise and general items at the stadium. “I don’t think I’ll buy anything when I head over just to be safer.”

Elias hopes to make more special memories at the stadium, like the time when he was able to catch one of his favorite players, Mike Trout, riding in a golf cart after a game. He recalls how he got an autographed picture and how special that night was for him.

Some fans, such as Jesus Gonzalez who grew up just three miles away from the stadium, are trying their best to find tickets.

“I will try to be going the first month. I’m planning on it unless the ticket prices are ridiculously high and out of price range, then probably not,” said Gonzalez, who is trying to score tickets for him and his friend.

He feels confident that the community will respect the safety guidelines while being mindful of the space between one another. When asked about personal precautions he would take, Gonzalez said he would avoid certain foods when he attends a game.

“I believe foods that are mostly spat out like sunflower seeds and gum shouldn’t be purchased. They usually are left all over the floor which could have the chance to spread germs. If I am going to eat something, I’d choose something preferably I can eat entirely or have on a plate which you can then dispose of,” he said.

Angels fans are buzzing with excitement as they wait for the new season to embark, whether it’s at home through the television or going out to safely observe the games at the stadium. As Despart said, “there were many hardships throughout this strange year. I’m just glad that my favorite team is coming back to play week in and week out.”