Reasons why the Dodgers envy the Angels and the Rally Monkey.
View of Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
View of Dodgers Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
For years the Los Angeles Angels were the red-headed step-child in Southern California baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers won four World Series titles (1963, 1965, 1981, and 1988) in the first 27 years that the Los Angeles Angels, and then California Angels were in existence. The Dodgers drew 3,000,000 + fans for the first time in 1978 and a total of seven times during the span of 1961-1988 and 28 times overall since that 1978 season.
The Los Angeles Angels drew 2,000,000 fans for the first time in 1979 when they won their first AL West title, however they never reached the 3,000,000 fan plateau (despite having a seating capacity of 8,000 more than Dodger Stadium during that time) while they were in Anaheim Stadium. It wasn’t until 2003 that the then Anaheim Angels broke the 3,000,000 fan barrier (3,061,094) which they have not dropped below ever since.
In the 1990’s both the Dodgers and Angels went through a down period as the Angels failed to make the playoffs during the decade and the Dodgers made the playoffs twice in 1995 and 1996 but failed to win a game either year. In 1999, Disney entered into the picture buying the Angels from the Autry family just after the Big “A” had been renovated turning it back into a 45,000 seat baseball only stadium again. For most of the six years Disney owned the team the play on the field was still mediocre up until the magical 2002 season when the Anaheim Angels became the champions of baseball with an improbable run from AL Wildcard to World Series Champions. However, Michael Eisner (Walt Disney CEO) brought some ideas that have stuck over the past 17 years making Angel Stadium a more desirable place to be.
In 2003 the Angels broke the 3,000,000 fan mark partially because of the previous season’s success, but it was also due to some great marketing and creating a family-friendly atmosphere which Dodger Stadium was starting to lose due to fans feeling less safe at Chavez Ravine. Over the last 12 years the Angels have had great success winning the AL West six times and making it to the ALCS twice and they have been rated the best fan value in sports multiple times. During this time the Angels attendance numbers have gone up and the buzz has been much stronger in Anaheim than in Los Angeles. Over the past few seasons the Dodgers have taken some of the Angels which has helped them again see their attendance numbers rising.
Here are a list of some things I have noticed the Dodgers have incorporated over the past five seasons that the Angels have been using since the early 2000’s. The Dodgers hope is to shed the negative fan image and return their stadium to a family-friendly environment. Thus proving the Dodgers have Angels Envy. Enjoy.