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All-Star Game Out of the Park : All-Star Game Strikes Out to ‘Batman,’ Beer in Some Spots

Times Staff Writer

Those who paid scalpers $500 for a seat at Tuesday’s All-Star game might not have understood the atmosphere at the Swallows Inn in San Juan Capistrano.

While the game flickered unattended on the TV set at the far corner of the bar, you couldn’t hear anything but the jukebox blaring country-Western music.

“If you want to look at it, you look at it, but if you want to hear it, you go someplace else,” said Jim Provost of San Juan Capistrano, a regular who stood near the door.

The bartender, a huge biker with “Harley-Davidson” emblazoned on his T-shirt, had announced that he wasn’t going to switch to the game until the customers were sufficiently annoyed. But the customers seemed more interested in their beers.

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If the sound had been turned up, Cody Traven, a horse trainer from San Juan

Capistrano, might have heard something that interested him. One of the game announcers, another cowboy named Ronald Reagan, was insisting that he had not fallen off his horse. “I was bucked off,” Reagan said.

But Traven didn’t hear it. “All-Star game? I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Traven said. “If it was a rodeo, I’d know all about it.”

Despite a week of promotion and a climax of traffic and cheering in Anaheim, there were places in Orange County on Tuesday where the All-Star game was not front-page news.

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At La Perlita, a Mexican restaurant in Santa Ana, they switched the TV set from a “Batman” episode to the All-Star game, and 3-year-old Stephen Koots nearly threw a fit. His father, another Stephen Koots, said he wouldn’t mind if the set stayed with “Batman.” “We don’t have the time and the energy to be interested in the game,” he said. “We have better things to do.”

At the California Wave, another restaurant near downtown Santa Ana, Manager Lidia Marin said the place had been busy a few nights earlier during the broadcast of a soccer game. “It was so packed we couldn’t even move,” she said.

At game time Tuesday, only about 15 people were in the restaurant, and only one was watching the game--Marcos Rodriguez, a Santa Ana lawyer. “Mexicans follow soccer more,” Rodriguez said. “They don’t understand the English (announcers).”

At Continental Trading, an electronics store in Westminster’s Little Saigon, all 25 TV sets showed the All-Star game, but no one was watching. And at nearby Ltd Novelties, owner Tuyen Le explained his utter lack of All-Star souvenirs: “I doubt people here would be interested in baseball.”

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At Bobby McGee’s Conglomeration, a restaurant and bar in Mission Viejo, interest in the game was hardly higher. Devon Humphrey and Annette Thousand were in an alcove of the bar, hoping to catch as much of the game as they could before reporting for work at a nearby department store.

In the bar full of music and dancers, they were the only apparent baseball fans, and they were having trouble hearing.

But even they were better off than Marc Kolson, who was working in a sporting goods store in Mission Viejo. Surrounded by baseball merchandise, Kolson said he loves baseball, but wasn’t getting a chance to see the game on TV.

“I’d like to be there,” he said. “Who knows when it will ever come to Anaheim again.”

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Contributing to this story were staff writers Eric Bailey, Bill Billiter, Marcida Dodson, Lily Eng and Mary Lou Fulton.

GAME STORIES

Part I and Sports


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