May 3, 2007
This article is compliments of CSTV.com's "Going Yard" - a comprehensive three-month tour covering 7,000 miles and more than 65 games, culminating with the College World Series in Omaha, NE. GOING YARD chronicles the journey of two intrepid reporters who are capturing the passion and culture of college baseball, with exclusive interactive broadband content and countless hours of streaming video.
Meyers and Markfield immerse themselves in the culture and lifestyle that encompasses the passion of college baseball, capturing the action, excitement and stories on and off the field. Between stops on campus, they visit people and places along the way to get a complete understanding of the unparalleled passion that fuels these devoted fan communities. For more information and to follow the "Going Yard " tour, visit www.cstv.com/goingyard/.
We've been to a lot of ballparks so far on this trip, each with its own unique identity. But as far as views go, none so far can match that of Pepperdine's Eddy D. Field Stadium.
We've seen tents, grills, and even homemade bleachers beyond the outfield walls of the various locations we've visited, but Field Stadium boasts a view of the Pacific Ocean and palm trees past the left field wall. In fact, it's pretty hard keeping your eyes on the field. We're convinced that if they replaced the stadium seats with hammocks it would be easy to forget about strikeouts and focus on siestas at this park.
But the vast blue of the Pacific isn't the only thing that's easy on the eyes here. Being that the Pepperdine campus is in Malibu, it's only natural that the Waves should have a celebrity fan. And that fan is none other than Pamela Anderson.
Pam is a baseball fan to begin with, and she first got involved with the Waves when her sons Brandon and Dylan went to a baseball camp here. Now she comes out to games to watch not only the Waves but her sons, who take turns serving as bat boys for Pepperdine (today it was Dylan).
Luckily for us, we spoke with Pepperdine coach Steve Rodriguez a few days earlier when the Waves visited USD (the same day as our surfing trip) and he was able to give her the heads up that we'd be coming by to chat with her during the game. Otherwise, we'd just look like a couple of sketchy dudes with a video camera (some would argue that's not inaccurate anyway), and instead of cutting up video, we'd spend the rest of the day washing pepper spray out of our eyes.
But Pam knew we were coming and was kind enough to talk a little baseball with us for a few minutes. It's no surprise that Pam is a sports fan, considering she was "discovered" when she had her image shown on the stadium screen at a British Columbia Lions football game. That led to her first break, a commercial contract with Labatt's beer. Coach Rodriguez had told us how nice she was, and he wasn't lying. Even if she hadn't been as nice as she was, this experience still would have certainly trumped our Anthony Anderson sighting in New Orleans.
Apparently, the lesson is, if you are a celebrity and your last name is Anderson, the Going Yard boys will find you. Consider yourself warned, Loni.
At first we felt a little like Borat in our attempts to corral Pam in the stadium, but since she didn't flee screaming, everything worked out. High five! Turns out she's been a baseball fan all her life because her dad was one, and she even claimed to have some hitting skills since she was a tomboy as a kid. (Brandon disputed her claims of being able to swing the bat, but we're inclined to take Mom's word for it.)
Speaking of kids, we also spent a few innings sitting with Coach Rodriguez's son, Nolan, who said he wants to one day play baseball and then become a police officer. The kid is six, and he already has a better idea of what he wants to do when he grows up than we do.
Nolan was also quite the diplomat. When we asked him who his favorite Pepperdine player is, he explained, "My dad's the head coach. So I like all of them. Otherwise it might hurt somebody's feelings." A few minutes later, he fessed up that his favorite guy on the team was actually Ryan Heroy. Either way, Matt and I have talked to each other enough over the last month that it was nice to have someone else carrying the conversation.
And as much as Nolan might love Heroy, we were even more impressed with junior righthander Barry Enright, who have up just two hits in eight innings of shutout work in the Waves' 7-2 win against Cal State Fullerton.
Even more impressive was the fact that Enright pitched Friday night as well. Most college pitchers work once a week, but Enright was working on short rest because Pepperdine is off this weekend and Rodriguez wanted to maximize the use of his ace. Sadly for Enright, who was just named a semi-finalist for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, there's no way his performance is going to be the most memorable part of our visit here. That honor goes to the lovely Ms. Anderson.