Anaheim PD’s Polygraph Examiner got back from Boston last week after spending a portion of the World Series in the Red Sox dugout.
“There is a deep-rooted connection between the city and their sports teams. It was the first World Series they won at home in 95 years and you could feel it,” said Investigator Vince Delgado.
Delgado grew up in Orange and played third base at El Modena High School but gave up on the sport after graduation as he wanted to focus on his education. His baseball and cop backgrounds made him an ideal candidate for one of Major League Baseball’s most coveted part time positions, a Resident Security Agent (RSA).
For the last 23 years Delgado estimates he has worked 30 to 40 games every year as a Police Officer at Angel Stadium. He estimates he’s also attended close to 500 games in that time – even developing a friendship with famed ESPN anchor Chris Berman during the process.
“Whenever we see each other at games we’ll have conversations that almost never involve sports. He asks how my family is and I’ll ask about his. He’s a really nice guy and a good friend,” says Delgado.
Three years ago, league officials reached out to Delgado and two other Anaheim officers – Lt. Tim Schmidt and Sgt. Lorenzo Glenn – to work for Major League Baseball at their most important events such as the playoff and all-star games.
League officials have been so impressed with their performances and expertise that MLB started using them on an international level. The officers have travelled to Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Latin America covering security for players and other MLB employees.
“I definitely think both jobs make me better at the other. I’ll find myself noticing tics that I’d pick up during a (polygraph) test at games. The challenges we face in different cities make us more effective for games at Angel Stadium and Honda Center,” he said.
He says Boston’s Fenway Park is a much smaller venue than Angel Stadium and “they really pack it full of people.” That requires a different strategy than Anaheim but comes in handy when they have a larger crowd than usual, he says.
He’s also traveled with the American National 18-and-under team and enjoys watching the guys he worked with make it to the big leagues. Delgado knew of St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Michael Wacha’s potential after watching him beat the Japanese National Team as a 17-year-old.
“I get a sneak peak at the future of baseball and what potential stars might be coming next. It’s pretty cool to see guys grow into really good players after watching them on that national team,” he said.
Delgado worked in the Red Sox dugout for games one, two and the series- clinching sixth game in his fifth trip to the fall classic.
“It was my job to make sure fans and the unauthorized media didn’t make it into the dugout. I was probably (Boston Manager) John Farrell’s favorite person because it was my job to tell the media to get out,” he said.
Delgado was on the field as stadium security during the 2002 World Series – when the Angels beat the San Francisco Giants in a seven-game series. He remembers the deafening Anaheim crowd in the seventh game, where the Angels clinched the series with 4-1 victory.
“My favorite part of the job has to be the atmosphere that comes from thousands of people gathering passionately in support of the same thing,” he said. “I remember 2002 – when the Angels won it all – being on the field, hearing just how loud and passionate everyone was about their team. That’s still the loudest I ever remember a crowd getting. It was pretty magical.”
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