This week in the little story that is my Life of a Major League Baseball Season Ticket Holder I am going to pick up where I left off last time. I was in my hotel room at the DoubleTree and had to take off in order to get to an A’s game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers with the reigning Cy Young Award winner, Clayton Kershaw, on the mound. I couldn’t be late to see Kershaw!
Lucky for me, I was there to see the southpaw get crushed by the A’s offense! Kershaw cruised through the first two innings but wasn’t able to get out of the third inning. The A’s scored 5 runs off Kershaw and seven total in the inning. They eventually won the game 7-3. So that was a great game in my book.
Besides winning the game, another great part of going to spring training is that you get to see, what I like to call, your “Season Ticket Holder (STH) Neighbors.’ STH neighbors started out for me as just the people who had tickets directly around where my seat is. I’ve seen families come and go, children grow up and go to college. Overtime you develop relationships with these people with whom you share a common love. I have to say that your direct STH neighbors are where the really deep friendships are formed. Some families do come and go (I mean, my family was new in 2002 when we moved our season tickets from section 219 to section 128.) but you end up staying in touch and develop friendships with new people. With so many games and weekends spent together it makes sense that STH would bond.
The advent of social media has opened up opportunities to meet STH all over the stadium! For example, I sit behind the bullpen and usually socialized with the STH in sections 128-129 but now I have friends who sit in the bleachers and another whole crew that sits in section 119. Social media has allowed us to plan events, tailgates, outside get-togethers, off season bowling nights, trips to see Minor League (MiLB) games, etc. These people have become almost as close to me as my direct STH neighbors. These friends and STH neighbors become like family to you and with each other. It is really cool how it works out. Sometimes there are disputes but just like in a family they get worked out eventually and forgotten.
A lot of my friends were in Arizona at the same time as my mother and me. It’s always great to see friends, plus everyone is on vacation, so it’s extremely laid back. We plan dinners at places like Don & Charlie’s and grab drinks together after games. Every year the group you end up meeting up with in Arizona differs because no one really stays for the entire month of March. This year I missed seeing the two families that sit in section 128 with me as well as my favorite boys from the LF Bleachers, CocoFingers, Oakland Vader and OaklandGreenMan aka the Melvin’s Misfits. Yet I did to see the ladies from section 119 and a bunch of friends from section 129. Next year it might be the opposite but seeing all your dedicated fan friends is always a good time! It brings the feel of your home ballpark to Arizona (or Florida).
While this is just my experience in Oakland, I am sure it happens in other ballparks, both MLB and MiLB. Take the movie Fever Pitch, for example. The way Jimmy Fallon’s character is with his “summer family,” as he calls it, is not an exaggeration. It is a huge plus to being a STH. You really do develop real relationships with other fans who are just as crazy about the team as you are. All I can say is,
“It is just good times all around!”
So yeah, the remainder of my trip was A LOT of fun. The A’s defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4 on a walk-off home run by Luke Montz in the last game I attended. It was a great way to end the trip which was amazing as always! The A’s won every game I went to and I got to have a ton of fun with my STH family! Once again, as usual, it was a successful spring training experience!
Thanks for reading, have a great week and smile because there are other fans out there, just like you, waiting to become your STH family!
xx ~ Jen
Want to check out more posts from this series? Check out the links below: