Everything they say about Spring Training is true. The stadium is small and easy to navigate. You don’t have to fight crowds, you’re really close to the field, you can see the players, there are lots of fly balls, the games are more interesting because the old players are getting back into shape and there are lots of new recruits waiting to prove themselves. It was all that and more.
We drove 2-1/2 hours from Flagstaff to Mesa, which is adjacent to Phoenix. Luckily for us, the day was overcast. Otherwise, we would have been sitting in the hot sun with a high of 84 degrees. With the clouds, the weather was really warm, but pleasantly so. The sun came out full force in the 9th, just enough to let us feel the heat of the Arizona spring.
We sat next to a Mesa denizen, who attends a lot of spring training games, and it was fun to share the
game with him and get his perspective. We ate ballpark food. I learned that my depth perception sucks, at least as it pertains to foul balls. There were lots and lots of fouls, hit into the stands, many hitting the overhang, then trickling back down to waiting fans, a few headed towards the parking lot. A few headed our way, and I ducked. None actually came close, in reality. The were hit very high and got lost against the clouds. I didn’t realize I was that much of a coward :).
Things we missed:
- Full stats. No speed of the pitches, no # of pitches thrown per pitcher.
- Replays. There’s a huge scoreboard, but no replays.
- Pretty much nothing else. It was awesome.
After the game, we drove over to Phoenix to look for my favorite restaurant when I lived there in 1986, right before moving to San Francisco. I wanted to show him the apartment complex I worked at and the Mexican restaurant we went to every Wednesday for a pitcher of margaritas and taco salad with creamy garlic dressing (made on site) but both are gone. We settled for a local diner and had a great ‘Merican meal before heading back to watch the sun set in the west as we drove north back to home base in Flagstaff.
Next up: Sunset Crater and Navaho Country
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