Spring training will be starting soon. Yes, it’s true that it is almost time for the Chicago Cubs to begin a new season with hopes of defending the World Series title that they finally won last fall, their first title since 1908.
I’ve been a baseball fan(Yankees) all my life but, as an adult, I’ve expanded the number of teams that I follow and the Cubs happened to be one of those other teams that I followed, especially this past season.
Any of you out there may understand how I feel if you’ve been baseball fans as long as I have been. And maybe some of you have even been to spring training games in either Florida or Arizona and could understand me when I say that this is one of my favorite times of the whole baseball season.
When I moved out to Arizona back in the early 90’s, I was anxious to get to a few games each year and to enjoy the experience of watching major league baseball up close and far closer to the field than I ever got at the then-named Bank One Ballpark. And so, having lived in Scottsdale for much of the time that I was out there, I was only a few minutes away from Scottsdale Stadium and I along with friends, family or, eventually, my wife went there quite a bit.
With a capacity of 12,00 people, Scottsdale Stadium(spring home of the SF Giants) was one of the bigger parks and was probably the one that I saw the most games at. On top of spring training games, I also went to a few minor league games played there during the MLB regular season. Other parks that I saw spring training action include Tempe Diablo stadium, now home to the LA Angels and, speaking of the Cubs, I saw them play at Hohokam Park in Mesa. Hohokam Park is now home to the A’s.
I can remember attending games and feeling as though I was practically on the field with them because these were far smaller stadiums than the huge parks that the teams use during the regular season. It was at these games that young fans could and would try to get autographs if they wanted to though there were plenty of adults looking to get autographs as well.
And so, let the games and practices begin. Yeah, I’ll probably watch the Super Bowl-go Falcons- but I’ll be looking ahead to reading about pitchers and catchers reporting to their respective camps in Arizona and Florida. I’ll also be eager to see who may be looked at as the next superstar is in one of the camps, maybe a Mike Trout- type of player waiting to become the next superstar in a sport that could always a few more.