The Los Angeles Angels will play their home opener Thursday evening at Angel Stadium against the Texas Rangers, with their 1-5 start their worst since their inaugural 1961 season.
The first pitch will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Angels team to reach the postseason, with Hall of Famer Rod Carew, Bobby Grich, Don Aase, Dave Frost, Jim Anderson and Becky Baylor, the widow of 1979 American League MVP Don Baylor, throwing the first pitch.
The national anthem will be sung by rhythm-and-blues and pop singer Malia Civetz, preceded by the U.S. Army Color Guard leading the unfurling of a 300-foot flag.
A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster transport plane will fly over Angel Stadium during the national anthem.
New dining options at Angel Stadium include the Big A Burger — two beef patties, custom ground from Newport Meat company, topped with American cheese on a potato roll.
The Bamboo Bowls concession stands will make their debut, offering rice bowls with options for chicken teriyaki and marinated beef.
Changes at Angel Stadium include a new mobile ticket policy in which print-at-home tickets will no longer be accepted for entry.
Fans can enter the ballpark in two ways — via the MLB Ballpark app which uses mobile devices to produce a unique barcode as the game ticket — or purchasing traditional printed tickets at the Angel Stadium box office.
Tickets purchased only through verifiable sources — angels.com, 714-4ANGELS and StubHub — are able to be viewed in the app, used for entry at the gates of Angel Stadium, and be able to be transferred to accompanying fans via a function inside of the Ballpark App.
More information on mobile tickets is available at angels.com/mobileticketing.
Brad Ausmus will be managing the Angels at Angel Stadium for the first time in a regular-season game.
Ausmus was hired in October to succeed Mike Scioscia, who announced following the Angels’ final game of the 2018 season that he would step down as manager after 19 seasons, including guiding the team to its only World Series championship in 2002.
The 49-year-old Ausmus managed the Detroit Tigers to a 314-332 record from 2014-17, including the 2014 American League Central Division title. He was an assistant to Angels general manager Billy Eppler in 2018.
Ausmus was a catcher for four major league teams from 1993 to 2010. He spent the final two seasons of his playing career with the Dodgers.
Right-hander Matt Harvey will start for the Angels in his debut at Angel Stadium. Harvey signed with the Angels as a free agent on Dec. 21 after concluding the 2018 season with the Cincinnati Reds.
Harvey pitched for the New York Mets from 2012 until a May 8 trade to the Reds. He was the starting pitcher in the 2013 All-Star Game and the 2015 Comeback Player of the Year when he was 13-8 with a 2.71 ERA after missing all of the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery to repair an elbow injury.
Only two Texas hitters have faced Harvey — Jeff Mathis, who is hitless in five at-bats against him, and Asdrubal Cabrera, who is hitless in two at-bats against him.
Harvey started the Angels lone victory of 2019, receiving a no-decision in a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics Friday. Harvey allowed two runs and four hits over six innings, leaving the game with the score tied, 2-2.
Right-hander Edinson Volquez will start for the Rangers. He also had a no-decision in his first start of 2019, allowing four runs and six hits over four innings in an 8-6 victory over the Chicago Cubs Saturday.
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