At this point, it may seem like I'm gloating about the good fortunes I've had thus far during my time watching the Angels play in New York. But nothing can top what happened to me early this afternoon at the game, and I absolutely have to share it with the good people of Halos Heaven.
As some of you are aware, the seats I had to Friday night's game against the Yankees just happened to be right next to Arte Moreno and his wife. It was a great experience getting to chat baseball with Arte and enjoy the game, especially in such luxury. But nothing could prepare me for what would happen the next day. As I searched Stubhub late last night for tickets to this afternoon's game, I noticed that someone had put up another pair of Legend Suite tickets for a ridiculously low price (about half as much as I paid for Friday nights game). I immediately jumped on the deal, and ended up paying only a third of the face value. I couldn't believe that I'd be sitting in the Legend Suite again, and for such a great price. I thought "who knows, maybe I'll run into Arte again?" But I wasn't expecting anything.
When my friend Patrick and I arrived at the stadium, we immediately went to our seats. About 3 innings into the game, we decided to retreat from a humidity-strangled heat death outside, and that we'd be more comfortable watching a couple of innings on the flat screen inside the Legends Suite Lounge, located directly behind our section. We each grabbed a hot dog and snagged a seat at the bar. Moments later, we turned around only to be greeted by Arte Moreno and his wife, Carole, as well as one of Arte's good friends:
Arte: "Hey guys, good to see you here again!"
Me: "Hey, Mr. Moreno! Good to see you again!"
Arte: "No please, call me Arte. I'm buying drinks. You guys want a beer?"
Me: "Uhhh...Uhhh... =O...yeah, sure!"
I was thinking to myself, "is this really happening?" We went on to have drinks and hang at the bar with Arte, his wife and his friend. We talked about Angels Baseball, and about how much we appreciate what he's done for the club. They asked us what we thought about Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. They were also thoughtful enough to ask us about what's going on in our lives, and why we had made the trip all the way out to NYC to watch the Angels play. I explained that I'd be getting married in two weeks, and that this was one of the last things I'd be doing as a bachelor. But I explained that I planned on doing one last thing--and that's when something amazing happened:
Me: Yeah, so when we head back to California, we're going to look into getting a Platinum Suite for the Saturday day game vs. the Rangers this weekend. We planned on having it as my bachelor party.
Arte: Oh, yeah? Well, did you want me to give you a number?
Me: A number?
Arte: Yeah, a phone number for someone who can help you with the suite.
Arte: Here, copy this number down in your cell. But DON'T give this number out to anyone else. It's a secret number. In fact, after you call this guy, just pretend like you never had the number in the first place. It's for a one time use. He's going to be pissed I gave you his number, haha. Give this guy a call, and tell him that you need a platinum suite for the game on Saturday, and that Arte said to take care of it. I'll make sure and talk to him, and I'll let him know it's for a bachelor party.
Me: ***utter shock*** Who should I ask for?
Arte: His name is John.
I called the number earlier today, and I got a voicemail. I'm not going to tell you John's last name, but if you're clever, you'll likely be able to figure it out. I'm not sure what to expect, but it sounds like I'm going to get some kind of special deal for a platinum suite not available to just anyone. I'm not going to expect anything, though. And to be honest, I wouldn't be disappointed if I got nothing. The fact that Arte Moreno extended the kind of hospitality and generosity to me that he did was more than enough.
Arte Moreno treated a couple of regular, lowly Angels fans as his friends. He bought us beers; he talked life with us; he took a personal interest in the fans of his team. He didn't have to do any of that--but he did. Instead of some vague, generic speech during a press conference about how much he appreciates Angels fans, he showed it. That experience will forever go down as one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, and I'll never forget it. With that act of kindness, Arte has all the more solidified my support and dedication to this team, and showed me why being an Angels fan is the best ticket in all of professional sports . I'll be a life long fan (and Lord willing, life long season ticket holder), and I'll never root for another baseball team, no matter the circumstances. Thanks, Arte.