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The Empire Strikes Back at Angel Stadium

Written By: Abel S. Pinedo

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I'm a baseball fan and I love my Anaheim Angels. So, on a cool April evening, I made my way to Anaheim Stadium for Star Wars night. If you purchased your ticket online using the special code “Jedi” you would receive a plush Jedi Rally Monkey. (In case you didn't know, the Rally Monkey is the team mascot.) After meeting up with my friends, we made our way to a special entrance at Gate 1 and collected our simian friend. Once inside the gate, we were lead to a special area featuring live music from a Jedi robed band and a bar with Star Wars named cocktails. There were members of the 501st providing photo ops and the voice of Asoka Tano herself, Ashley Eckstein, was on hand signing autographs and posing for pictures.

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Alright, game time! As the players were introduced, the jumbo-tron featured the Angel players wearing various Star Wars outfits. Ashley Eckstein threw out the first pitch to her husband, former Angel David Eckstein who naturally was wearing an Ahsoka Lives t-shirt. As the game started, there was a unique 'opening crawl' on the jumbo-tron about the team.

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If you've ever been to a ball game then I'm sure you familiar with the various sound effects played throughout the game. Here, you could count on various Star Wars sounds. For instance, when an Angel player struck out, you might hear a Chewbacca roar.

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The best part of the night was seeing the fans get into the spirit of the event, especially if fans wanted to wear Star Wars costumes. Kids in particular were happily showing off their Jedi Monkeys and wearing their Star Wars best. There were a variety of Star Wars themed Angel t-shirts on sale but they sold out almost immediately after the start of the game.

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The game itself proved uneventful as my Angels suffered a defeat at the hands of the Oakland A's. As the game ended, we made our way to the exits while the end theme to Return of the Jedi played throughout the park. All in all, I had a great time. I loved watching the jumbo-tron. In between innings, they'd show various images of Star Wars characters and vehicles decked out in Angel attire. So if someone can score me an AT-AT in Angel team colors that would be really awesome. In the meantime, I'll be home with my new buddy, my lil Jedi Rally Monkey!

About the Author: Abel S. Pinedo has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He's also an annual visitor to such conventions as Comikaze, San Diego Comic Con, Wizard World and More. When he's not touring the convention circuit he can usually be found at his keyboard telling the World about his adventures.