and his heroes, the Angels fans who flocked here to this erstwhile establishment to watch Game 4 of the World Series were clearly looking for some heroes of
their own on Wednesday night.
And they found them early with Angels pitcher John Lackey getting a hit in
his first at-bat to help Anaheim to its first run in the second and Troy
Glaus hitting a two-run home run in the third.
But in the fifth, Glaus was "too late the hero" in picking up Kenny Lofton's
bunt down the third base line that went foul and then fair. And that opened
the door for the Giants three-run rally that tied the game at 3-3.
Just as the bottom of the eighth inning began, Randy Howard of Fullerton had
the worried look -- and for good reason as David Bell delivered the go-ahead
run with his single off Francisco Rodriquez.
"I'm so used to the Angels' failures, I almost don't allow myself to enjoy their success," said Howard. "I don't want to get another broken heart. It's like
dating beautiful women."
Moments after Brad Fullmer grounded into the game-ending double play in the
ninth, Howard said, "I'm hurt and disappointed, but I think they'll come
"That was the worst piece of hitting I've ever seen," said Todd Harris of Diamond Bar. "Unbelievable. The beauty is we might still be able to get tickets to Game 6. I'll also be able to wash these pants, which I haven't washed since Game 2 of the Yankees series. I didn't wear them the
first game of this series and they lost and now it's time to wash them
While there weren't any ThunderStix to be seen or heard at Heroes, there
were plenty of red Angels shirts and hats to go around along with 119
different beers on tap. Bags of American Ball Park peanuts dotted the bar,
with peanut shells and sawdust on the floor.
An Angels autographed jersey was hanging from a deer's antlers above the bar,
along side of a Halloween skeleton. The jersey will be auctioned off for
charity later in the week.
Heroes general manager David Dial, whose uncle is former Cy Young award
winner Randy Jones, was tending bar Wednesday night. And yes, bartenders can
and often are neutral observers.
"I am a Dodger fan through and through," said Dial. "This is a no-win
situation. I hate both of these teams equally. I've been praying for rain so
they couldn't finish the series."
Bartender Kevin Newell of Fullerton is a born-again Angels fans.
"I used to be a Junior Angel growing up," said Newell. "But after 1986 and the emotion of being one strike away and Donnie Moore and all, I just gave
up. But now the little kid in me has come back and it's the Angels all the
Brock Hack of Glendora was also behind the bar Wednesday night. He was a
clubhouse boy for the Angels in 1989 and 1990 and offered his personal story
about The Cowboy Gene Autry.
"Let me say this first that Gene Autry is a real gentleman and a real class act," said Hack. "I never heard anyone say a bad thing about him.
"He was very polite and very nice, but blind as a bat," Hack said. "I had my uniform on and it had BB on it for Ball Boy or Bat Boy (we did both). He was down on the field before the game and I said to him, 'how are you doing Mr.
Autry and he said, 'good son, go out there and have a great game.'
Hack noted, "it's sad that Mr. Autry isn't here to enjoy this, but I know
his spirit is certainly with the Angels."
As for Heroes Bar and Grill, it has some interesting history. It was
originally part of the California Hotel -- not to be confused with the Hotel
California. The California Hotel is a 100-year old building on Harbor Blvd.
After a 12-year stay there, Heroes moved around the corner,
to 125 West Santa Fe Avenue three months ago. It is one of three Heroes -- the other two in
Claremont and La Verne.
The story behind the name Heroes is on the wall above the bar. There are
nearly 100 black and white pictures, not of celebrities, but of regular
everyday people fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandmothers and
grandfathers, aunts and uncles.
When owner Jack Franklyn was asked who his heroes were, he said his mother
and father. And that started the tradition of all workers at Heroes bringing
in black and white photos of family members to put up on the wall. Even
patrons bring pictures to be put up.
The catch is of course, they all have to be black and white.
And in these heady days of Angels in World Series when people ask: What's
black and white and red all over? The answer is 'Heroes' at least here in
Sandy Burgin is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at
Sandyburgin@hotmail.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major
League Baseball or its clubs.