Tag Archives: baseball

USA 2016 – 13 Los Angeles Angels vs Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim (2016-07-15) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 18 JAN 2018

The evening of the first day of expo was spent eating exquisite American steak. The evening of the second day of expo saw my colleagues Johann and Carl eager show off something even more American to me. In other words, off to a baseball game we went!

Truth be told, I was pretty excited about this. The fact is that I do actually rather like baseball. I played it as a kid for a good number of years (go Bellville Tygers!), and even coached a girl’s softball team late in high school for fun.

(Also, there was precedent to this. I caught a profession baseball game the very first time I ever left South Africa’s shores, meaning that there was no way that I could not make the same effort given the fact that we were now in the very home of this sport!)

Our hotel turned out to be within walking distance of the Angel Stadium of Anaheim (also known as The Big A), and as luck would have it, there was indeed a game on that very evening – the Chicago White Sox were in town to take on the local boys from the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim).

So we bought the tickets (reasonably pricey of course), walked down to the stadium (on the way discovering that this part of the States actually import a lot of flowering plants from South Africa – so, so weird seeing strelitzias along the side of the road!), took some photos, and grabbed some stadium beer, before heading in to find our seats – just in time to watch the t-shirt cannon girls begin entertaining the crowd.

As for the baseball itself, the game ended up being pretty good to watch. Despite no exciting home runs being hit, the Angels managed to run in a well deserved 7-0 victory, leaving the home crowd in quite the good mood.

(Also, I have to thank the super helpful/patient local who was sitting in the seat behind me – I kept pestering him with 101 questions when it came to the stats and abbreviations on the giant scoreboard, for pretty much the duration of the game!) 

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A classic Americana experience at its best then. #USA2016

Related Link: Los Angeles Angels | Wikipedia | Angel Stadium of Anaheim#USA2016

Spring Training: FlightHub’s Guide To Baseball Spring Training Hot Spots
[Partner Content] 13 FEB 2016

For much of the year, America’s biggest cities are privy to America’s pastime, baseball. While these games are played in massive stadiums with illustrious histories, there is a way to see the world’s best ball players on a more intimate level. Enter Spring Training, where teams break off into two leagues, the Cactus League, and the Grapefruit League. FlightHub, a North American online travel agency, is baseball crazy. I asked them to take a look at where people should head if they want to see some great Spring baseball in anticipation of the boys of Summer heading North.

Grapefruit League

16 major league teams call Southern Florida home for Spring Training. Among them are some of the leagues biggest teams including The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and FlightHub’s favourite, The Toronto Blue Jays. According to FlightHub’s review, Tampa Bay, Florida would be the smartest place to fly to if you want to take in some Spring ball. Along Florida’s West coast you will find the Spring homes of the Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Red Sox, and and the Minnesota Twins, giving you access to some of the leagues best teams all within a small geographical area.

Cactus League

Phoenix is definitely ground zero for Spring baseball according to my FlightHub review. Located in the heart of Cactus League action, Phoenix will allow baseball tourists 360 degree access to almost every team training in the state. Teams training in Arizona include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Anaheim Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers.

Why Spring Training?

Spring Training ball, whichever league you choose, allows you to experience baseball on a far more personal level. Games are played in smaller stadiums, in smaller cities, and often allow for a degree of interaction with players both pre and post game. It’s often much cheaper to watch these games, and you will also have a chance to see younger players who could turn out to be the stars of the future. FlightHub definitely recommends a pilgrimage to the South if you have a strong interest in baseball and want to see it in a way you have never seen it before.

cactus league baseball scoreboard

Japan 2014 – 42 A Baseball Batting Cage, the Arcade, and lots of Ice-cream in Ina! (2014-10-10) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 25 DEC 2015

Following a day of driving around the Kiso Valley, doing tourist things like viewing a historic post town, seeing a samurai museum, and partaking in the area’s specialty, soba noodles, the next day was to be a complete change of pace as Ryan and I got to spend a rare day alone with the groom-to-be.

So we went to hit a few baseballs.

IMG_20141010_100352 batting cage at we love baseball batting stadium, ina, japan

Baseball is very popular in Japan – hugely so – meaning that we weren’t particularly surprised to find a batting cage in small little Ina (where we currently were based).

All three of us had played baseball together as boys, and so we were pretty keen to have a go at swinging the bat as adults. I certainly have never been to a batting cage before, so it was a pretty cool experience.

IMG_20141010_105332 ryan lotter in batting cage at we love baseball batting stadium, ina, japan

We started off with the slower pitches, and quickly worked our way up, where I’m pleased to say I actually managed to get quite a few hints in, even at high speed. Loads of fun!

(Top speed that we faced off against? 120 km/h! I’m impressed just saying that!)

IMG_20141010_110832 ryan lotter and terrance brown dance evolution at games arcade, ina, japan

Adjoined to the batting cage was a games arcade, and Terrance was pretty keen to get Ryan in on some rhythm games – which amazingly Ryan gave into! The arcade machines in Japan (as we had already seen in Tokyo) are amazing, and some quite complicated, and so we spent quite a bit of time wandering about the games area.

Also, how in the world can you say no to a game of air hockey?!?

IMG_20141010_114449 ryan lotter air hockey battle at games arcade, ina, japan

We did some window shopping at a mall nearby, browsed a sports store, and most important of all, tucked into some delicious Baskin-Robbins ice cream – which has kind of been my thing all trip long! :)

IMG_20141010_120040 terrance brown and ryan lotter eating baskin robbins ice cream in ina, japan

Next up. A drive to a very special pizza place…

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Japan 2014 – 06 DeNA BayStars at the Yokohama Stadium (2014-10-02) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 24 OCT 2015

Having already enjoyed a jam-packed day in Tokyo that saw us wander around Zojoji temple, view Tokyo from above via the iconic Tokyo Tower, and stand in the shadow of a giant Gundam in front of DiverCity, we scurried back back to Yokohama to make it back in time for our evening date – a Japanese league baseball game between the Chunichi Dragons and home team, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars!

IMG_20141002_171702 ryan lotter and terrance lotter watching baseball at yokohama stadium japan

The game was being played at Yokohama Stadium, pretty much across the road from our hotel.

The circular-shaped, American-styled stadium  was opened in 1978 and can seat 30,000 spectators. In addition to being the home ground for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars (it’s primary function), this multi-purpose stadium has also been used in the past to host sports like American football, as well as a number of large musical concerts – including the likes of Madonna, Michael Jackson and even Tina Turner performances.

IMG_20141002_161654 baseball at yokohama stadium japan

As it turned out, this was actually the final game of the season, which meant a good fan turn out and a pretty decent game to boot (though if you’ve ever watched professional baseball before, you’ll know that sometimes it can be a bit on the boring side – which I guess is why they have such entertaining mascots – go DB,Rider! – and dancing girls!)

IMG_20141002_200708 sperm shaped balloons at yokohama stadium baseball game

Japanese sports fans are extremely well mannered just by the way, meaning that you only shout when your team is up to bat, after which you give the opposing side fans a chance. No such thing as booing your opponents!

A particularly cool gimmick was these weird balloons that the BayStars fans let go during one of the breaks. Shaped a bit like sperm, the balloons make a whistling noise when let up in the air, making for quite a colourful sight/sound experience.

Sadly for our home team though, the cheering wasn’t enough and the Yokohama DeNA BayStars had to finish off the season with a crushing 4-1 defeat to the Dragons – a sad blow for DB.Rider and co.!

IMG_20141002_214339 yokohama dena baystars players salute fans at yokohama stadium

However, this being the end of the season meant that we were in for quite a treat.

After a live speech from the coach to the fans, an awesome season wrap-up film was shown on the big screen, followed by the team doing a lap around the stadium to thank the fans – during which the stadium was illuminated with nothing but the spectators’ cellphone LED lights!

And of course, what is a season ending game without a spectacular show of fireworks? :)

IMG_20141002_213850 fireworks at yokohama stadium for the end of the baseball season

All in all, an absolutely brilliant way to spend our seconding evening here in Japan!

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Related Link: Yokohama Stadium | Yokohama DeNA Baystars

Quick Reflexes! Sport & Health 26 JUL 2012

Evan Michael Longoria (born October 7, 1985) is a Major League Baseball third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays. Formerly, Longoria was a star infielder for the Long Beach State University baseball team, the 2005 Cape Cod League MVP, and the 2006 Big West Co-Player of the Year.

And thanks to this display of amazingly quick relexes combined with what must have been a pretty damn sore bare-handed catch of a baseball about to hit a television reporter, he might just become as well known as his namesake Eva Longoria.

Though probably not.

Still, awesome display of reflexes!