Day 22: April 30, 1991

Midland, TX

Park # 21

What I Remember

I remember Tim Salmon. The Midland Angels outfielder had the trifecta that night – He had a memorable name, pretty obvious baseball ability and he hit a home run. It wasn’t just any home run. It was the stuff of backyard wiffleball legends. Midland trailed rival San Antonio by two runs heading into the bottom of the 9th and there were two outs. Then, after a walk and three straight hits tied the game, Salmon sent the ball out among the oil derricks beyond the outfield wall and the Angels won 10-7. It was the most exciting game we saw on the trip for exactly one night but more on that tomorrow.

I also remember Monty Hoppel, the team’s GM, being very kind to us. I think it was the first time any of the teams gave us hats and we wore our Midland Angels hats on the video we shot that night. Finally, I remember a promotion that ended up on our MLB Magazine segment.

The Angels had a recliner they must have worked with a local furniture company to produce and they put it behind the plate and next to the press box for a promotion they called “The Best Seat in the House.” Every night, early in the game, one fan was selected to sit there and I tried it out in the postgame glow of Salmon’s homer….a clever idea in a summer of inventive promotions .

The Game(s)

Midland Angels 10 San Antonio Missions 7

The Box

My scorecard was a mess that night, it comes from getting up to go shoot video and then trying to piece together what had happened in the game. You will also note that I never even wrote down Salmon’s homer on the scorecard. In an era in which the term “walk off” is even used to describe games won on sacrifice flies, this really was a walk off and I dropped the scorecard and picked up the video camera.

The Trip

Midland began the fourth week of our Excellent Adventure and I got a nice note on Facebook recently from a gentleman who said he had spent summers at Angels Stadium scooping ice cream in high school. So – spurred on by James Crabtree, next Friday I will restart a series of videos on the Low Mileage Tour channel on YouTube. I hope to produce one a week with the highlights of each stop that week. I can’t do one every day and still get the book finished but I am hopeful this will be a fun once-a-week look back at a magical season. In the meantime, you will find some videos I produced last summer at the PFA Channel homepage.

A Note about this Site

This site is intended to be a companion to the upcoming book In League with America. Although some games were particularly notable and will appear in the book, most of the results of the 199 games we saw over the course of the 1991 season will not. Our journey was never really intended to be at the games themselves, it was about the places we saw and the people we met along the way.

However, there is now an historic nature to the results from this season. All of the players we saw then, even in the minors, have long since retired. Some of the players we saw at Class A are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. These pages, then, will function as kind of a digital appendix with a brief recollection of each day, the result of the game(s) we saw that day and a map of our daily drive.

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