Long before Interleague play, the “Freeway Series” was a tradition enjoyed by both Dodgers and Angels fans alike. A series of exhibition games would be played between the crosstown teams at both Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium creating a grand finale of sorts to Spring Training.
When I was younger, once in awhile we would go to a then California Angels game. Of course it was a much different experience than a Dodger game. There were no Dodger Dogs. They had cinnamon rolls. (Remember that?) There was no Nancy Bea organ music played at Angel Stadium but rather contemporary music played over the P.A. My Dodger hat stood out like a blue beacon amongst the sea of red haloed caps. Most importantly, unless the Angels were up against my team, I could care less about the outcome of the game. It was a very different feeling indeed.
With the onslaught of Interleague play, any series during the regular season between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (by the way I cannot stand that moniker) and the Dodgers was erroneously dubbed the Freeway Series. The Dodgers have just announced that the historically correct version of the Freeway Series is back for 2012. The Dodgers will visit Angel Stadium on Monday, April 2 at 7:05 p.m. and then host the Angels at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, April 3 at 7:10 p.m. and Wednesday, April 4 at 12:10 p.m.
The very first Freeway Series game was held on April 2, 1962 in Palm Springs, CA. Johnny Podres started the game for the Dodgers who ended up losing 6-5 to the Angels. The two teams have clashed 103 times in exhibition play, and the Dodgers have a 44-56-3 record.
Now after the Angels have signed Albert Pujols to a eye-popping 10-year $250 million contract, the Freeway Series will be even more interesting. Mike Scioscia (who is by the way my favorite all-time player) looks to take the Angels to another World Series after the club has been very busy with signings this winter. Even though the Freeway Series are only exhibition games, it’s always fun to root for the Dodgers to win over those other guys who play 32 miles down the road over in Anaheim. We will bring you all the game coverage for the Freeway Series this spring, so stay tuned!