August is a fantastic time to be a Southern California sports fan and whether you’re a local or visiting from another part of the country or the world, you’re in for a treat.
This is especially true if you’re a baseball fan. Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in first place. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke are making a case for being the two best pitchers in baseball. At the same time, Angel Mike Trout continues to show why many think he’s the best player in baseball, and his teammate, future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols, is making a mockery of those who thought he might be too old to still be an impact player.
The Angels host the Cleveland Indians Aug. 3-5, the Baltimore Orioles Aug. 7-9 and the Chicago White Sox Aug. 17-19. They close out their August home games with the Toronto Blue Jays Aug. 21-23.
The Angels do travel up from Anaheim to visit the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Aug. 1-2, however. The Washington Nationals are next to visit the Dodgers Aug. 10-12, followed by the Cincinnati Reds for four games Aug. 13-16 and the Chicago Cubs Aug. 28-30. The San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers’ division rivals and the team they are battling for first place, open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Aug 31.
In San Diego, the weather remains borderline perfect, the beaches are always stunning and, unfortunately, the San Diego Padres just keep finding new and disappointing ways to lose. However, Petco Park is a fun place to see, San Diego is a great city to live in or visit, and any day at the ballpark is a good day, so come on down south and catch a game. The Philadelphia Phillies visit Aug. 7-9, followed by the Cincinnati Reds Aug. 10-12 and the Atlanta Braves Aug. 17-19. The St. Louis Cardinals (maybe the best team in baseball this year) visit Aug. 21-23, and the Padres close out the month with the Texas Rangers on Aug. 31.
And as always, for those who prefer the small town atmosphere of minor league baseball, Southern California is home to the Lancaster JetHawks, the Inland Empire 66ers, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Lake Elsinore Storm and the High Desert Mavericks.
Those who live for NFL football know that training camp reached full swing in August. Southern California is home to one NFL team, the San Diego Chargers, but two training camps. The San Diego Chargers will be working out all month at Charger Park in San Diego, and fans are welcome to visit. It’s a great time to get a good look at your favorite Chargers, without the huge crowds. If you think you’d enjoy a preseason game, the Chargers host the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 13 and the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 29. Both games are at Qualcomm Stadium.
Speaking of the Dallas Cowboys, they hold their training camp in Oxnard, California, at the River Ridge Playing Fields, far away from the sweltering summer heat and humidity of Texas. Camp runs the entire month and is highlighted by the Blue-White Scrimmage on Aug. 9 and two practices, but not games, with the St. Louis Rams Aug. 17-18.
Football fans can also head to the Honda Center in Anaheim and watch our local arena football team, the Los Angeles Kiss, take on the San Jose Sabercats on Aug. 8.
Women’s basketball is in full swing, and our own Los Angeles Sparks are host to six games this month at the Staples Center. They host the Minnesota Lynx on Aug. 4, the Tulsa Shock on Aug. 6, the Seattle Storm on Aug. 11, the Chicago Sky on Aug. 16, the Indiana Fever on Aug. 18 and the San Antonio Stars on Aug. 30.
For soccer fans, the LA Galaxy recently signed Mexican star Giovani dos Santos, and you can see him play at the four games the Galaxy host at StubHub Center this month: Central FC on Aug. 6, Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 9, CSD Comunicaciones on Aug. 18 and New York City FC on Aug. 23.
For all the events listed above, detailed information is available at the team and event websites. Be sure to check the dates, times and ticket availability. And, please know that this short column only touches the surface of the various sporting events available for your viewing pleasure. I typically try to cover the bigger events and a couple of those that might be less known. While you’re visiting, should you find an upcoming event that you think would be of interest, or one I missed this month but should note for next year, just drop me a line. Enjoy!