Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend May 26-27, 2007 - Big League Dreams - Chino Hills

It was a great weekend for baseball. Here are some photos (for a more complete collection, please visit

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cypress College Graduation Commencement

Words of Wisdom

The pomp and circumstances preceded the commencements but it was the words of wisdom from Dr. Lewis, professors and advisers that made this ceremony a memorable one. Looking back at my curriculum it not only was a rigorous schedule but a fulfilling schedule. I am very proud to be have been a student at Cypress College. My educational experience was fabulous.

Pictured below are Nicole Greene (Education major, transfer to Cal State Fullerton en route to becoming a teacher), Hung Le (Communications major, transfer to Cal State Fullerton for his B.A.) and I (also a Communications major, transfer to Cal State Fullerton for my B.A.) experienced the entire graduation ceremony together. Followed by photos with my family: Steve (husband) and my kids (Christopher, Aaron and Ariana)

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Longest Homerun

If I didn't see it, I wouldn't have believed it. In fact, I didn't see it and I STILL believe it.

I could tell that after Christopher took an 0-2 pitch and after listening to both Steve and I give our opinions on his not swinging on any of those two fast balls down the middle (he apparently had a game plan of his own), something unique had just occurred.

From where I was sitting I couldn't see past the Mustangs' dugout let alone further than the little electrical shed which resides just on the other side of the 200 foot fence on March field. I uttered how I only saw a white blurred object jump off the end of his bat and into the night. I was afraid he didn't see it. I was afraid the middle infielders didn't see it. I was afraid anyone in the outfield or (gasp!) the by-standers at the basketball courts might have gotten seriously injured by an errant fly ball.

I was confused. I couldn't tell if what was happening was a good thing or a bad thing. Straight ahead of me Steve stood numb and almost paralyzed with shock and delight, I think; with his right hand slapped against his right cheek. His mouth dropped he could catch a fly. In that long 3-4 seconds an eternity passed. Steve had to question the coaches on the other team if what he saw was a reality. The coaches were equally as numb struck as Steve.

Christopher's hit cleared the 200 foot fence, beyond the 250 foot start of the basketball court, landed at the edge of the second set of basketball courts - which we were told by the officiating umpire is measured somewhere between 320 and 340 feet. This, we were told, was the further ANYONE had ever hit on that field.

The basketball players, one from Cypress College's baseball team, was in denial that no one could hit out that far. The group of peopled gathered at the courts to shoot some hoops stopped their game and applauded with respect this 12-year old phenom as he rounded the bases for the furthest home run he has ever launched.

It was surreal. It felt similar to the time Christopher hit his first-ever grand slam in a tournament in Temecula. You didn't know whether to cry or laugh or both. You just knew it was one of the best hits and best performance as a player this kid could ever have.

I'm still amazed. I'm still in shock. I still can't believe it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Amazing Artists

You do not have to be a classical guitarist to appreciate GREAT TALENT as you will see in this video of Loose Canon rendition of "Pachelbel." It fits all genres of music. Enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Graduation and AA Degree

The much anticipated day has finally arrived. This is a milestone in my life.

It has been several couple of years since I attended college the first time around straight out of high school. Young and naive then, I didn't finish. Distracted by the almighty dollar, I left school thinking entering into the workforce earlier than all of my college buds would be the best thing for me. Boy was I wrong.

Now having returned to school in 2003, it has taken me four long years to finally arrive at this stage of my journey. I am finally getting my Associate of Arts Degree as a Liberal Arts transfer to Cal State Fullerton where I will pursue my Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Communications with an emphasis on Entertainment Studies (yes, Journalism and PhotoJournalism fall into this category somehow). It was a toss up between the three but quite frankly, Entertainment Studies covers all of three of the things I like: Journalism, Photography and Entertainment. ES covers both the musical and performance aspect as well as sports and events.

Please join me in celebrating graduation. You are cordially invited to graduation commencements on:

Thursday, May 24, 2007 6 p.m. Cypress College 9200 Valley View Street Cypress 90630

Ceremonies will be held on the quad (lawn) east of the Gym II. Please arrive early and park in parking lot #5.

Thank you in advance for sharing in this joyous occassion. I hope to see you there.

Sincerely, Annie

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tim Salmon A Big Hit

Former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball player now retired Tim Salmon appeared at Boomers in Irvine Saturday March 10 for a batting cage dedication and accepted a check for $10,000 on behalf of Family Solutions.

The distinguished mayor of Irvine Beth Krom presented Salmon with a certificate of recognition for his efforts on and off the field. “It is wonderful that Boomers, Salmon and Family Solutions can come together in order to dedicate his batting cage in order to bring attention to very significant challenges in lives of children of Orange County.” Boomer’s maintenance team designed a replica of home base of which Salmon imprinted his hand print and signed it. The home plate concrete slab will remain as permanent fixture at the Tim Salmon batting cage.

In an interview, Salmon spoke about his retirement, his future and delivered a message to kids today:

Annie Rivera: What is it like being Tim Salmon?

Tim Salmon: I’m a normal guy, let me tell you. With four kids, it’s very busy, carpooling, and I’m coaching little league now. Quite honestly, when I go back home to Arizona, that’s where we’re raising our family I’m a normal guy. Most people there may look at me, give me a second look but nobody really knows who I am, Only when I come out here that I kind of get a little bit of that celebrity second look. I’m just a normal guy.

AR: What’s next for you – life after the Angels?

TS: Well, it feels like I’m retired, you know the way that my body feels. I’ve turned the page. It’s time to move on. My new priorities are my family and their needs and my kids have been waiting for a long time for me to be one of their coaches. My wife is happy to share the carpool duties with me. As much as I love the game and love playing it, it is a huge demand on your life mentally, physically, your time away from your family. There are so many great things about the game but there are so many things at the age of 38 I’m so glad to not have to do anymore. I am ready to turn the page. Of course I will have my moments from time to time to think about it, but I’ll have that recurring dream every few weeks or so that I am still playing.

AR: What does a day like today mean to you (batting cage dedication)?.

TS: [I feel] a little embarrassed. They [Boomers] didn’t have to do that. To me it was more about the opportunities they were going to provide my charities. Family Sol is a foster care agency where there are a lot of kids out there – to give them an opportunities to come to a place like this and be like a normal kids. That is what we are taking about – normalcy. Normal kids do not realize what they have. It is only when you see the foster kids that you see what they’re lacking and you can truly appreciate an opportunity to come to a place like this and to be treated like every other normal kid and have those opportunities. This is the goal behind everything here. The fact that they are putting my name on the [batting] cage that is super. If it brings exposure to Irvine Boomers, that is great, I’m behind that and it brings exposure to Family Solutions.

AR: What inspiration can you give youth who play in Little League, PONY, travel ball, etc. What message would you like to send to kids today?

TS: I come from a different era where we did not have all of those things. My thing is this: You have to make sure you’re having fun. It has to be your passion. It cannot be your parent’s passion or your coach’s passion. If you are not having fun doing it, there are other sports to play. I played everything. I learned something from everything that made me the person I am today, it made me the ball player I am today. I caution every parent out there [to] make sure it is the kids’ passion that is really driving them. When it becomes work, I think we have gone a little too far. I never thought baseball was a job until I started getting paid to play it. That is the key. Whatever they are doing they have to want to do it. They have to have the passion to do it. If it is getting in the way of their school work or family vacations or participating in other sports, I would take a second look at it. There are so many other important things to life in the youth development than just being locked into playing one sport or having put the demands on your family and your kids.

Around the Horn - fan quotes:

Tami Mavur a long-time fan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim said, “I am a huge Tim Salmon fan. I was very sad about his retirement. I thought he had another year. I’m glad he went out on his terms and not someone else’s. I think this batting cage dedication is awesome. It should be in Orange County. He belongs to us. I’m exciting for us, for Orange County and for everybody here.”

Jared Owens, 12, of Los Alamitos said, “He’s a hero and a really good baseball player.”

“I’ve been a fan of Tim Salmon since 1993 since he won Rookie of the Year,” Raymond Reyes of Long Beach said. “I’ll still be an Angels fan but it’s going to be a terrible loss – his inspiration and his leadership.”

Tyler Kern of Brea said, “Today was awesome. It was a once in a life time opportunity to meet him and I loved it. I wear his number on my jersey. I’ve been a huge fan since my dad first took me to an Angels’ game where I bought my first Tim Salmon jersey.” Retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.

Retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.

Boomers presents retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.

Fans eagerly await retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.

Tyler Kern of Brea has a chance of a lifetime photo op with retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.

Twins Aaron Reuben and Ariana Rene of Anaheim pose with retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomers in Irvine.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Day at the Ball Field

When Christopher began playing baseball at the tender age of 4 1/2 we first signed him up with a youth baseball program through the city of Anaheim sponsored by the Angels. We then signed him up with the Buena Park American Little League at the age of 6 1/2. He's been there ever since and he's now 12. He also plays on a travel ball team called the Placentia Mustangs. He's had a pretty good run in both organizations.

When we first started with the Little League the league attended an Angels game where players and coaches paraded around the field for pre-game ceremonies. In his last year with the league, today we attended a game and paraded around the stadium. I was happy to be down on field level with my media pass to take photos during their parade (I know this is truly what I want to do). It was a great day to be out there. It was a long day but otherwise exciting.

Here is a photo of myself, Aaron, Ariana, Christopher's team mate and co-captain Isaiah, and Christopher pictured in front of Angel stadium. The last photo is a picture of #13 Isaiah and #21 Christopher as they walk into a tunnel at Angel stadium.