Angel Stadium

The Angels have their cleats in two worlds. For the first two weeks of spring training, the club practices and plays exclusively in the Valley, based at the Gene Autry complex on East McKellips. For the second half of March, the squad spends its time exclusively in Palm Springs.

So it is possible, if you spend your two weeks' vacation this year in Palm Springs, to watch an Angels game every day for twelve straight days. Possible, but very, very expensive.

I'm not sure about this, but I've heard that a decent hotel room in Palm Springs goes for about $500 a night, just like in Scottsdale. You could always stay in Indio and commute to games, I suppose, but why not just eat a bottleful of sleeping pills right now and save yourself the agony? If you do decide to stay in Indio, please say hello to my water pump. I left her at a Sears automotive store there in the summer of '79. She was good to me for many years. I miss her still.

Actually, there is much to say for Palm Springs. For one thing, Harry Caray lives there in the off-season (he's listed in the phone book--is that great, or what?) During this time of the year, the weather is lovely, just as it is here. There are many fine (expensive) golf courses, just as there are here. They do have spring training games there, just as we do here. Their big advantage, of course, is that Elvis Presley once owned a house there.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you've never been to Palm Springs and you've got ten grand or so to blow and you want to see Elvis' house, then go to Palm Springs and watch a few games. It's a four- or five-hour drive. Make sure your water pump is in good shape before you start.

MDRV The Stadium: I've actually visited this park for the purposes of watching a spring training ballgame. It was six or seven years ago. As I recall, it was real nice. But the one thing I remember about the stadium was that I couldn't find any permanent rest-room facilities, just a short row of portable potties. There's no particular significance to this, other than to people in the tourism-convention business. The City of Palm Springs and all of its tourism-related businesses no doubt spend a bundle on promoting their city around the world as the sparkling jewel of the desert, and the only thing I can remember about the place is the fact that they didn't have real toilets at the ballpark. I think Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono needs to form a committee to study this phenomenon, and right away. By the way, did you see him in Hairspray? To think a major talent like that is being wasted in local politics. It just breaks my heart in two.

MDRV Parking: I'm not working from memory anymore but from information culled from a variety of sources close to the situation, so I guess you can count on it as being more-or-less accurate. As far as parking goes, the Angels stadium is located in a city park, where there isn't much on-site parking. It's my understanding that you can park on the nearby residential streets for free.

MDRV Navigation: Pack a lunch and head west. If you leave real early in the morning--for most of my readership, this is totally irrelevant--you can get there before the first pitch. Otherwise, I think you should head out a day in advance and take it easy. Palm Springs is located on Interstate 10, some 288 miles from Phoenix. When you get there, get on Bob Hope Drive and follow it around for a while until you come to that place where the hotel is that has a golf course. Then drive around some more and maybe take a couple of pictures. (If you come to Wayne Newton Drive, you've done something terribly wrong, because Wayne Newton Drive is actually located in Las Vegas, which, you probably know, isn't even located in the same state as Palm Springs. I've found that the two cities are much alike in attitude, meaning there are lots of places you won't be served if you aren't wearing shoes and a shirt or if you've got your pit bull with you.) Now, ask someone who looks like they know what they're doing--a cop or caddy or water-pump mechanic or Mayor Bono--how to get to the ballpark.

MDRV Pre-game: Believe it or not, I've had some excellent meals in Palm Springs. I've had a great corned-beef sandwich at a deli right downtown, which I can't remember the name of, but it's right downtown and you can't miss it. Great place. I've had good burgers downtown. I've had a good breakfast at a place that's real famous for sweet rolls. Ask Mayor Bono what the name of the place with the sweet rolls is and go there.

MDRV Post-game: Lots of interesting nightlife exists in Palm Springs, most of it targeted at a market that still considers the boogie-woogie beat to be inspired by Satan. That's not entirely accurate, because Palm Springs does have its share of discos and dress-up bars where you can go and meet people who spend more on hair mousse in a year than you spend on rent. One "must" stop, perhaps on your way out of town, is Bono, a restaurant owned by you-know-who. They say the food isn't so good, but you do get the privilege of paying out the butt for it on the slim chance that Sonny will walk through the place on his way to his tennis lesson.


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