Angels general manager Billy Eppler announced on Twitter that the team will host its Summer Camp in two locations: Angel Stadium and Long Beach State’s Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. Long Beach State athletic director Andy Fee confirmed the news Monday morning.
“We just need to get the contract executed but I don’t foresee it being an issue,” he said.
The camp is set to begin July 1 as part of an accelerated run-up to a 60-game season, slated to begin on July 23 or 24. The Blair Field site is expected to primarily host members of the Angels’ “taxi squad,” the extra players added to the roster due to the truncated season. Clubs are permitted to have a 60-player pool, as opposed to the normal 40-player roster.
The move is somewhat ironic given that the Angels were in deeply developed negotiation with the city of Long Beach over the last year about building a new stadium downtown. While the team opted to develop its current site in Anaheim–with a new plan that includes housing and retail developments–the team will still end up having a presence in Long Beach thanks to this deal.
The Angels are also being coached by Joe Maddon this year, as they try to make the postseason for the first time in six seasons. Maddon has long maintained a home in Long Beach’s Belmont Shore, and has been known to pop into a 2nd Street bar from time to time when he’s in town.
There is some bad news for fans–the Summer Camp, both at Angel Stadium and at Blair, will be closed to fans. As longtime Long Beach sports fans know, several professional teams have used the baseball field as a training ground, including the Los Angeles Rams. Wilson students and intrepid football fans could see the practices from the Wilson classrooms that face the stadium, a view that will be obstructed by the Dirtbags’ new batting facility.