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How to Make a Hit With the Fans

The baseball season hasn’t begun yet, but California Angels fans lost one at home--to the city of Anaheim.

Traditionally, the Angels wind up their exhibition season with the three-game weekend Freeway Series against the Dodgers. They are doing that again this year, but the three-game set that began Thursday night will end Saturday, leaving Sunday open.

Angels management, eager to keep the players well-conditioned, scheduled a tuneup exhibition game with its Edmonton farm club Sunday afternoon at the Big A.

In a grand public relations stroke that was sure to please their fans and kids who love to watch baseball at a major league park, the team management scrapped big league prices and season seating arrangements. The admission price will be $1, and it is good for any seat in the house on a first-come, first-served basis.

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As an added bonus and sure attendance draw, the club is starting Jim Abbott, its exciting rookie pitcher and Olympic hero.

It’s too bad that when the Angels hung out that Sunday “Y’all come” sign, the city of Anaheim--landlord of the stadium--missed it. Although the admission to the ballpark will only be $1, the city still plans to charge $4 to get into the parking lot. It is not too late for a meeting on the mound to get the Sunday pitch straight.

The city ought to get into the spirit of Sunday’s “unscheduled” tuneup and allow free parking. It would be a grand gesture to encourage a family outing at the ballpark and probably a good business gesture to attract new fans.

After all, the city will still have 81 regular season games to rake in the parking money, not counting--one can hope--league playoffs and the World Series.

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