10/19/2002 7:43 pm ET
Edison parking lot one big party
Freeways and streets empty before Game 1
By Mychael Urban / MLB.com
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Traffic in Southern California is notoriously bad, but the roads and freeways near Edison Field were all but deserted on Saturday three hours before the start of Game 1 of the World Series.
Why? Because every car in the region was in the Edison parking lot. Or so it seemed.
"I'm thinking there's an awful lot of car coming in full of people who don't have tickets," said Bob, an elderly gentleman working the gates. "I guess they just want to be close. Either that, or they've got a lot of money in their pockets and think they'll find a [ticket] seller."
Bob didn't want to give up his last name. Said he doesn't care for attention. That was not the case with many of the Angels fans Bob ushered in. When your team finally gets to the Big Show after 41 fruitless years of existence, it apparently gives you license to let your hair down a little.
And make no mistake. These people were going Rapunzel left and right.
"I was one of the first cars in," said Orange County lifer Geoff Davis, whose 365-pound frame -- yes, he happily coughed up the number -- was putting the seams of his spanking new Angels T-shirt to a serious test. "I came early to get the same spot I've been parking in for the past 17 years. I'm just superstitious, I guess."
Davis and his friends were among the thousands of happy tailgaters decked out in the brightest of reds, and many of them -- by force of random screaming and yelling -- had faces to match.
Or maybe that was the obvious exuberance for adult beverages.
One woman, who was so thin that it looked like someone put a Darin Erstad jersey on a fungo, proudly stated her goal for the day: "A glass of wine every 20 minutes before the game, and once I get in, a glass an inning."
And to think, four or five miles away people are sitting in giant spinning tea cups at Disneyland.
This scene at Edison was no tea party. It was just a party. Grills were smoking, music was playing and everyone seemed to have something to say to anyone with the gall to wear the orange and black of the Giants.
The most popular -- and quite possibly least creative --insult was a variation of, "Hey, Halloween isn't until next week!"
Two hours before the game, the red river pouring into the stadium started getting thicker. One of Davis' friends noticed it and suddenly felt like he was missing something.
"Where's everyone going so early? Why's everyone going in?" he panicked.
"Relax," Davis said. "They probably just ran out of chips."
Mychael Urban is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.