It was on August 5, 1995 that I ventured down to Anaheim Stadium to go watch the then California Angels host the Texas Rangers. The Angels had an 11-game lead over second place Texas at the time and the Mariners were 12 games back. The Angels at the time were the only team in the division with a winning record.
For the life of me, I can't remember attending this game. But I have it down in my scorebook, so I must have been there. (No, I don't keep score at home.) My memories come from the scorebook as the details of this game have been lost in the midsts of time. I don't know if I went to the game with a friend or just took a drive to Anaheim. Remembering something from 12 years ago isn't usually this hard for me.
These were the lineups that managers Johnny Oates and Marcel Lachemann sent out.
Otis Nixon, CF
Lou Frazier, LF
Will Clark, 1B
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Mickey Tettleton, DH
Luis Ortiz, 3B
Rusty Greer, RF
Jeff Frye, 2B
Esteban Beltre, SS
Tony Phillips, 3B
Jim Edmonds, CF
Tim Salmon, RF
Chili Davis, DH
J.T. Snow, 1B
Garret Anderson, LF
Damion Easley, 2B
Jorge Fabregas, C
Rod Correia, SS
The pitchers would be Roger Pavlik for Texas and Brian Anderson for California.
The name that stood out to me was that of Rod Correia. He had taken over the shortstop job from Gary DiSarcina, who had injured his thumb a couple of days earlier. In a subject still debated among Angels partisans, DiSarcina's injury coincided with the Angels slide in the standings, an injury that some said sent the Angels into their collapse. DiSarcina, despite playing in just 99 games, actually got 3 for votes for MVP that year. His OPS+ for those 99 games was 107, the only season that DiSarcina topped 100 (except for 12 games in the 2000 season at the end of his career). He finished his career with an OPS+ of 66.
Disarcina went down on August 3. After his injury, the Angels went 22-33 (DiSarcina did play a few games before the season ended.) This coincided with a 35-19 stretch by the Mariners. The teams finished the season tied and the Angels lost to the Mariners in the tiebreaker 9-1. Did the Angels lose because they didn't have DiSarcina in the lineup? Or did they win all those games earlier in the year in spite of his presence in the lineup?
In this game, Brian Anderson gave up two runs in the first and didn't help his cause with an error. The Rangers scored two more times in the seventh on an RBI double by Nixon and a sacrifice fly from Clark. Frye had a sacrifice fly off of current Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher in the eighth to put Texas ahead 5-0.
The Angels scratched out single runs in the eighth and ninth on a pinch double by Spike Owen and an RBI single from Davis in the ninth. The Angels had the tying run at the plate in Garret Anderson, but Ed Vosberg struck him out for the save.
Presumably, the crowd (23,342 they said and I even wrote it down) left unaware of what was to come. Especially me, because I don't even remember being there. Somehow, the Angels 1995 season just unfolded in its final months in some sort of fog. May the fans of the 2007 New York Mets be able find themselves in a similar fog 12 years from now.
And you'll notice that even my writing from 1995 is faint. It's almost like this memory is trying to escape. And once a memory escapes, it's almost impossible to get it back. There may be a record of your past, but does it mean less if you can't remember it without reading something to jog your memory?