Fireworks, Resumes and Shit…How was Your Weekend?


My buddy Sam hit me up with two extra suite tickets for Friday’s Angel game against the Tigers, courtesy of his lovely new bride’s employer. My wife had a rare Friday night off of work so we dumped the twins at my parents, drove through Del Taco and joined 5,000 other cars trying to enter the Angel Stadium parking lot.

Angels Stadium suite

Angels Stadium suite

Did you know there is a parking lot solely for Lexus vehicles? It’s fucking awesome. We rolled right up in their Lexus and parked away from those dirty, classless Ford, Honda and Hyundai’s. Peasant pigs.

Our view from the Angel Stadium suite.

Our view from the Angel Stadium suite.

Torii Hunter returned to Anaheim for the first time since leaving the Angels this past winter as a free agent. Hunter is Jax’s favorite player. My odd brain often wonders how Jax would have handled the news that Hunter left the Angels. I’m confident he wouldn’t have cried. Short of Captain America leaving Marvel to “find himself” in a temple on a South American mountain, Jax wasn’t going to cry about anything. But would he just like Torii on the Tigers now, or pick a new Angels favorite?

Big Bang Fireworks

Big Bang Fireworks

We were still walking to our suite seats when Hunter came to bat. Angel fans gave him a warm standing ovation, Hunter scored the only Tigers run and the Angels won the first of three games against Detroit. And as they do every Friday night for Big Bang Fireworks Night, the Angels organization treated us to a show.


Ellie's coach is a big dude.

Ellie’s coach is a big dude.

Gray and Ellie played their first t-ball game as Team Black against the dastardly Team Burgundy. Ellie broke out of the statue act from last week and had a good hit in her second at-bat and flashed grit and a gun in the field. Gray, meanwhile, stroked two hard ground balls up the middle and refused to wear a glove while playing first base. He even chased down grandma for a water break in middle of an inning.

Breathe, Seth, breathe.

While the twins “napped” I tweaked resumes and cover letters and applied to three jobs. The Fortune 100 insurance company I work for decided to centralize its operations and our charming Ontario office is closing in August. Dopamine shot through my body from the sense of accomplishment. But that will fade fast when no one calls.


My church is closing within the next three weeks as a result of financial difficulty. My parents left a mega church in the ’80s to follow a friend and pastor who established the church I grew up in. At this church I:

  • Broke out of my shy shell in my early teens
  • Met the girl I kissed for the first time
  • Met some of my best friends
  • Met my wife
  • Had the pastor marry my wife and I
  • Had my children dedicated

Jax’s memorial service was held at this church. It’s the only church he ever knew. It’s the last place I saw his physical body. He was breaking out of his shy shell here, too. This church body has showed so much love and support to my family I know I will never feel again. What breaks my heart the most is not having that same support to surround Gray and Ellie. I’m on the verge of sobbing as a type this. The more I think about it, the more I can’t handle it. I sensed it coming, and I thought I’d be okay with it. But I’m totally not. 

At night, as my wife prepped herself for a night at the hospital, I took Gray and Ellie to my parents for dinner. First we met at a baseball field for some t-ball practice. I had this fantastic idea that letting them run around on a real field with bases and grandma and granpda and no other distractions would increase their short attention span. But that backfired. They had more fun using plastic bats as telescopes in the dugout.

But then something strange happened. Something eye opening. Gray grabbed a small soccer ball some friends gave the twins out of the bag of bats and wiffle balls. He started kicking it around, moving from the first base side out into left field. He dribbled the entire time. And he dribbled like he’s been doing this for a while.

Neither my wife or I like soccer. Neither of us played as a child and we don’t push the sport, so his performance today is completely natural. Which means I’ll probably spend my 40’s driving him to club matches (games or matches? WTF SOCCER!) throughout Southern California every single weekend. Shit.



A Brick in My Foundation of Support

After Jax died, people came out of the woodwork to give. Old friends from high school, acquaintances I forgot about and people I’ve never met scribbled cards, sent flowers and gifted money. The beauty of the human spirit wrapped us in a tight embrace when we needed it most. It was completely touching for us.

But a group of men I’ve never met in person stepped up in a shockingly, thoughtful way that touched me deeply with something I love – Angels baseball.

In 1998 I started a computer Strat-O-Matic 20-team baseball league with three friends. Remember, I’m a big baseball nerd. The four of us drafted players, traded for better ones and competed against seventeen computer teams in a 162-game season. Gradually the league expanded to 24 teams and other “human” owners settled in to run franchises in our Westside League.

The league is now in its 16th season of play. Owners have come and gone, leaving due to increased job responsibilities, a new addition to the family or lack of interest. But quite a few of today’s owners have participated in the league for several years. And while we only know each other from the internet, some of us have developed deep friendships as we mix in stories from our personal life between a brainstorm of mock rookie drafts, battling for a World Series championship and busting each other’s balls when our players start to suck in real life.

Led by Steve Jack – the league’s webmaster, my right-hand man and all around pot stirrer – this group of men put together funds and surprised me with an Angels jersey with “Jax” and the number 08 on the back, indicative of his birth year.

They also purchased a personalized brick that rests outside the front of Angels Stadium between the two large helmets. On the ground is a pitcher’s mound designed into the brick layout, and to the right of the mound lies the brick.

My buddy Ian and I set off to find the brick last night. It was opening night at Angels Stadium and we had tickets in our usual season seats in Section 240, Row A. But first, we needed to fuel up.

Greasy Del Taco quesadilla

Greasy Del Taco quesadilla

We hit up Del Taco for a quick bite before parking in our usual spot near Chapman and Eckhoff in Orange and hiking our usual trail under the 57 freeway overpass, over the Santa Ana riverbed and into the stadium’s parking lot. That’s my quesadilla. No, I didn’t spill water on it. It was that greasy. Now that’s impressive, even for Del Taco.

The packed stadium buzzed with anticipation and hope of an Angels season that will bleed into an October playoff run.The usual pomp and circumstances filled the outfield prior to the game, which turned out to be a crapfest for Angels fans.

Panoramic shot from our seats at Angels Stadium on Opening Day

Panoramic shot from our seats at Angels Stadium on Opening Day

Prior to taking our seats Ian and I scoured the bricked infield in search for the Westside League’s gift. All proceeds of the Angels Brick Program go to the Angels Baseball Foundation, which helps fund local and national youth organizations aimed at creating and improving youth programs in education, healthcare, arts and sciences.

Ian finally spotted the brick, which read his name and “Always Loved”. Jax’s interest in the Angels really started to pick up as he turned three. He sported an Angels hat or t-shirt often and his favorite player was Torii Hunter.

Always Loved brick

Always Loved brick

Four days before he died we went to a game with my wife’s family to celebrate Father’s Day with her grandpa. We had such a fun night as a family and Jax especially enjoyed watching a game from a baseball standpoint for the first time, and not just taking in the stimulation around him. We have a large canvassed photo in our living room of the five of us on that night. The brick memento ties together perfectly my love for the Angels, my love for Jax and my wish that he always be remembered.

The relationships I’ve built with these faceless baseball fans means more to me than my Boston Chowderheads winning another World Series. While it’s a virtual baseball world, we live real lives. And the support we’re able to offer each other in tragedy, sickness and the valleys of life make all the hours put in to run the league more than worthwhile.

Thank you Steve Jack and the Westside League.