Eleven MLB Teams!
Saw 11 teams play in 7 different games.
Ten Days in Arizona!
Can’t say the weather was great. So spoiled with the typically sunny and warm Spring Training weather in Phoenix but this year it was very chilly the first week (low 40s for morning practices and 60 at game time) and rainy the second week (including a top-of-the 4th rainout). Nevertheless, it was still baseball!
Nine Innings of Baseball!
Honestly – was having trouble coming up with a “9” and this was suggested. It is appropriate since Spring Training games don’t go into extra innings. Overall, I truly saw 75 innings, if you include the World Baseball Classic.
Eight Nights in Hotels!
I’m never sure why people find this great … I would rather be home, in my own bed. But I have no complaints. My longest stay was 5 nights at the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham in Mesa, AZ … it is very close to the AZ101 and to the ballparks on the East side. On our return trip, we stopped in Yuma, AZ and stayed at our usual Oak Tree Inn. Once we arrived in Peoria, AZ, it was back to the Ramada Inn in Peoria … our 3rd stay there. None of these hotels are five star but they are family-friendly, reasonably priced, clean, and conveniently located.
Seven Spring Training Games!
- 2/25 – White Sox at Giants
- 2/26 – Diamondbacks at Angels
- 2/27 – Giants at Angels
- 2/28 – Athletics at Cubs
- 3/01 – Brewers at Rockies
- 3/08 – Athletics at Mariners
- 3/09 – Rangers at Padres
Six New Baseballs!
Five Spring Training Ballparks!
Be sure to read the blogs on each of these ballparks.
4 Media Credentials!
A huge thank you to the following teams for your hospitality:
- Giants – provided Pressbox, Field, and Clubhouse access
- Rockies – provided Pressbox, Field, and Clubhouse access
- Angels – provided Pressbox, Field, and Clubhouse access … was able to interview Manager, Mike Scioscia
- Padres – was able to interview, Manager, Bud Black
3 Great Travel Companions!
This was our sixth consecutive year to make the trek to Arizona for Spring Training … it is amazing how much the boys have grown in that time.
2 World Baseball Classic Games!
We loved the WBC when it was in San Diego in 2009 and were happy to have the opportunity to catch some games in conjunction with Spring Training. We saw USA play Italy on 3/08 and then USA play Canada on 3/10. TheBaseballPHD even got a few tweets on the jumbotron 🙂
1 More Year of Terrific Memories!
It was another wonderful year at Spring Training and I look forward to 2014 … but first, it’s time for the regular season! Play Ball!!
Friday night I had the opportunity to attend this event for the second time. Like last year, I wanted to support the Team and the Padres Foundation … plus, it is perfect timing to take my best friend to the event for his birthday … The Casual Fan MLB simply LOVES baseball!! Once again, we had a wonderful time.
Initially I was disappointed that it wouldn’t be held on the diamond like in 2012; however, with the cold weather and heavy rains, I was very thankful to be in the warm and dry walls of the San Diego Hall of Champions. And what a fitting venue in which to honor our Padres!
The Casual Fan MLB and I arrived just as the doors opened at 5:30 … considering the price of tickets; we wanted to ensure we enjoyed the hosted reception for as long as possible! In addition, it gave us an opportunity to mingle with fellow bloggers as well as members of the Padres organization – players, coaches, staff, executives, and The Friar. Everyone was friendly and happy that baseball season is just around the corner.
Next on the program was to go upstairs to where dinner would be served – we were assigned to Table #17. Like last year, we were seated with Bob Scanlon and his lovely wife. It was great to chat with them and catch up on the past few months. The Padres players assigned to our table were pitchers: Brad Brach and Brad Boxberger. They are very nice young men who represent the team and the sport very well.
The program included Dick Enberg as the Master of Ceremonies and addresses by Tom Garfinkel, Ron Fowler, Josh Byrnes, and Buddy Black. During Tom’s address he thanked many people that make the Padres a great ballclub and then said “… then there are our fans … and we have two super fans in attendance … Wayne and Rebecca … where are you? Wave your hands so everyone can see you!” We were very humbled that he (a) remembered us and (b) took the time to give us a shout-out.
The Major League Award Winners are as follows:
- Madres Favorite New Padres – Alexi Amarista
- Darrel Akerfelds Bullpen Award (Reliever of the Year) – Luke Gregerson
- Chairman’s Award for Community Service – Will Venable
- Clyde McCullough Pitcher of the Year – Clayton Richard
- Most Valuable Player – Chase Headley
Once the event concluded we used our time to visit with some folks we had yet been able to talk with – such as Buddy Black, Ron Fowler, Jerry Coleman, Dick Enberg, and John Kentera. It was an amazing night and truly got us fired up for Fan Fest, which was the very next morning – bright and early!
Below are a few picture collages from the event.
The Baseball PHD