Tuesday, July 20, 2010

All-Star FanFest

By Matti Abramson (SMBA '11)

Amidst 500,000 square feet of attractions and exhibits, the 2010 MLB All-Star FanFest at the Anaheim Convention Center had everything a baseball fan could dream of: batting and fielding practice, autograph signings from Angel greats and baseball Hall of Famers, an opportunity to be the announcer for an iconic moment in baseball, a chance to participate in a home run derby (watch out, Ortiz!), and over a dozen other attractions and displays of important moments in baseball history. Along with classmates Lawren Wolf, Greg Moore, and Aileen Berran, I spent nine days in Anaheim training for and then working as an Attraction Manager at FanFest. We were teamed up with other students and young professionals, and spent a few days honing our leadership and team-working skills that indeed proved to be valuable when running this large event. We were there to open and close each of the five days of the actual event, and acted as the hosts and hostesses to a large crowd of enthusiastic and excited baseball fans each and every day.

I spent the entire event at the 'You Call the Play' attraction, where fans put on the headsets and announced the Angels becoming World Series Champions in 2002, Jackie Robinson stealing home in Game One of the 1955 World Series, or another famous moment in baseball history. It was special for some fans who were in the stadiums when some of these moments occurred, or recalled watching them on television and have been practicing announcing them on their own ever since. I heard a plethora of renditions of Jack Buck's "I don't believe what I just saw," as Kirk Gibson hit the walk-off home run for the Dodgers in Game One of the 1988 World Series. It was so powerful that a few times I truly felt as though I were in stands at Dodger Stadium witnessing that amazing moment. It was certainly an incredible opportunity to work alongside other baseball lovers to provide a unique experience for the fans, that most would never forget.

It did not matter whether you had on an Angels cap or a Dodgers jersey, because at FanFest, everyone associated themselves as a fan of the good ol' game of baseball.

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