“Train leaving on track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga.”
That’s the audio clip which introduces radio and internet coverage of Quakes games at the Epicenter. According to my mom, that sound file is from Jack Benny’s original radio show. In fact, the Quakes ball park is located on Rochester Avenue. (Undoubtedly this means nothing to anyone born later than 1965.)
It’s hard to believe that son’s been been a part of the Los Angeles Angels system for over a year now. Considering how much we have learned about the minor league experience, the real thing as lived day-to-day by the players is quite phenomenal and much of it closely guarded info (as it should be).
Players really do move up and down throughout the farm system during the season, and on and off of the DL. Guys get traded out of the minors as part of big league deals, and they don’t get any advance notice. And it’s really true that they sometimes vanish from their host families homes in the middle of the night, leaving their car in the driveway until it can be transported to their next league assignment.
We’ve been fortunate our guy was assigned to Rancho Cucamonga, only about a 5 hours’ drive for us, enabling us to get to quite a few games.
Aside to just my knitting buddies: you can get a lot accomplished on roadtrips of that duration, before and after games, and while listening to the nightly broadcasts from home! In fact, I just checked my Ravelry projects page and found I’d completed 12 items over the course of this season, not including Spring Training.
Players’ families receive complimentary admission to games and are shown a hearty welcome by the staff, booster club members and hosting and adopting families.
Here are but a few of my sweetest memories of the 2010 season:
- Meeting many of the Quakes players and their parents on the field and outside their clubhouse
- Watching Tremor bring it night after night
- Hearing the broadcast of Gabe Jacobo reaching 100 rbi
- Hanging out with son postgame
- Informal Stitch-n-Pitch with new Ravelry friends in Rancho
- Listening to some incredible renditions of our National Anthem
- A week in Rancho with my mom, who may be her grandson’s biggest fan
- Enjoying a couple of Hangers on “Thirsty Thursdays” with two of the Quake’s gals, Ms. Rubenstein and Mrs. Jacobo. (pictured at right, photo used with permission)
To you young men who played for Quakes this summer, thanks for the great time. You impressed our family with your courtesy and professionalism, and we can’t wait to watch you next year, wherever you may be. Best of luck to you all, and especially to those we were privileged to meet or reconnect with after meeting you last year in Orem, Utah, including:
Mike Piazza, Rian Kiniry, Patrick Corbin, Garrett Richards (aka PTBNL), Jeremy Berg, Matt Shoemaker, Roberto Lopez, Tyson Auer, Gabe Jacobo, Mike Trout, Luis Jimenez, Darwin Perez, Angel Castillo, Jon Townsend, and Beau Brooks.
The Quakes won their division and advanced to the California League Championship after I wrote most of this post. They lost in their championship bid, 7 – 6 in extra innings, to the San Jose Giants. I got to see the last three games of the championship race and loved being there for it.
Lots of coverage is available if you just Google Cal League or search for the team by name: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, or search on FaceBook for same. There are lots of images stored in my head, but a favorite is this one below, used with permission of the Quakes: with TV cameras taking up space where people often come down to the dugout to request autographs, someone reached over the top to find our boy, and he obliged, as always.
Speaking of this, you might like the rest of the “11 Halos posts” filed under the “Baseball” category.