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Loud, Loyal and Long Distance

The Pond gives Angel fans the perfect setting to root their team on against San Francisco.

October 23, 2002|Claire Luna and David Haldane | Times Staff Writers

Thunder sticks, rally monkeys hanging from the rails and $8 beers -- for Anaheim Angels fans, the only thing missing from the Arrowhead Pond on Tuesday was a live World Series game.

As their team played 415 miles away at San Francisco's Pacific Bell Park, more than 500 Angels fans paid $5 each to watch Tuesday night's World Series game on four large screens at the Arrowhead Pond.

"You get the stadium facility atmosphere and it's all the real true fans," said Eddie Campbell of Whittier.

A mix of teens, parents with young children and others looking for an alternative to watching at home or in a sports bar spent Tuesday night craning their necks at the arena monitors. The rowdy, red-shirted crowd constantly clapped their thunder sticks.

Ruben Rivera stood for most of the game, banging his thunder sticks against the seat in front of him for every Angel hit and stolen base. So did the majority of the crowd.

"I feel more comfortable knowing I'm surrounded by fans," said Rivera, a decade-long Angels loyalist visiting from Phoenix. "No one here is distracted like they would be at a bar. They're all here for one thing -- the game."

About 30 students, parents and teachers from Calvary Chapel in Anaheim filled three rows. "It's a piece of history for the kids," parent Kelly MacLeod said. "We can't afford to go to games, but this is the next best thing."

As their teams' victory appeared more and more within reach, the fans' frenzy increased.

"Even though we're not [in San Francisco], it really feels like we're making an impact," said Anaheim resident Maureen Miller. "Look at the score and you can tell all our positive feelings are getting up there."

Proceeds from the telecasts will benefit youth programs.

The games tonight and Thursday also will be broadcast at the Pond.

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