Hello from, a not so sunny, Phoenix Arizona! This week on 2014 Oakland Athletics: Life as a Major League Baseball Season Ticket Holder I am coming to you straight from Cactus League Spring Training, as opposed to Grapefruit League Spring Training.
Here’s a short history lesson before I get to my experience so far this year in Arizona. Spring Training has been around since the 1890’s but it was not organized into leagues until the 1940’s as the league expanded and more teams joined in pre-season training. It originated in Florida and all but six ball clubs have held their spring training camps there at one time or another. The Cleveland Indians were the first team to move to Arizona in the 1940’s. Their owner convinced the New York Giants to move their spring training there and thus the Grapefruit (FL) and the Cactus Leagues (AZ) were born.
My boys, the A’s, train in what is usually a very sunny and warm Phoenix. This year I’m going to go with “uh, yeah, not so much.” When we, my mom and I, arrived here on Saturday afternoon it was pouring rain with thunder and lightening. We had to miss the first two games we had planned to attend. The plan was to make it a double header day, fly into Phoenix stop by Phoenix Municipal Stadium to see the A’s play the Texas Rangers and then head over to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, home of both the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The stadium there is beautiful and I have a friend who currently plays for the DBacks. This is a definite perk to being a STH. Often times you become friendly with the players. If you are around the ballpark enough they recognize you and remember you, knowing that you are there to support them through the good times and the bad. Then over the years you become friends. Sometimes even if they are traded you stay in touch. This doesn’t always happen of course but it’s not uncommon.
Unfortunately, this year, I missed out on two of the games I’d planned on due to the weather. While I normally prefer early February, this is one downfall of coming to spring training early; the weather can be dicey. Every trip is unique in every aspect from the weather to who you are with, where you go and who you meet. Of course as I mentioned last week there are places I frequent as favorites but like any vacation there is always something new or different.
Thankfully, the extreme weather calmed and we were able to see our first game yesterday. It was the A’s vs. the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The A’s were victorious 3-2 with one RBI coming from right fielder Michael Taylor in the first inning with two more coming from designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes in the fifth inning on a double to left. Starting pitcher Jesse Chavez got the win for the A’s and Angel’s pitcher Hector Santiago took the loss. It was a great time out at the yard and I was able to connect with old friends and make some new ones!
I’d love to write more but I have a game to go to! It’s the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the A’s at Phoenix Muni. Let’s Go Oakland!
Have a great week and smile because there are only 29 days until Opening Day!
xx ~ Jen
Find previous posts from this series here: