Hey, buddy, quick question: What were you doing yesterday afternoon?
Let me guess…
Counting down the hours, finishing up another day in that mind-numbing prison we call work.
Me? I was at Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona watching the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Texas Rangers play their first game of Cactus League spring training.
It was, with the exception of the ol’ afternoon delight, the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
For those fans that have been to Arizona to take in the Cactus League games, you don’t need me to tell you how much fun it is. However, for those fans who haven’t had the pleasure I have five words for you.
Because believe me when I say you have no idea what you’re missing. And while words won’t do the experience justice, I’ll try and paint the picture for you.
First and foremost there’s choice. 12 different teams call Arizona home for spring training. The Los Angeles Dodgers will also play six games in the valley before moving to the state for spring training permanently next year.
It’s like a buffet, only in baseball form.
Then, there’s the weather. In most of the country the weather isn’t exactly conducive to baseball. Yesterday, at the game? The high was in the very low 80’s with a slight breeze.
In other words, perfect baseball weather—for those playing it and especially for those watching it.
There’s also the price. A lawn seat at yesterday’s game was $6.00. My seat, which was located only 11 rows behind home plate, was a whopping $20.00.
This is very important in a day and age when taking the family to a game means taking out a second mortgage or selling an organ.
Spring training provides a cost effective way to have a family day at the ballpark and not break the bank doing it.
And let’s not forget the fans. They’re a huge part of the experience as well , due to baseball’s slower pace which provides many opportunities for you to get to know the people around you, whether you want to or not.
Take for instance the annoyingly loud blonde sitting behind me. All game long she was yelling and carrying on like no one was around. While normally this would’ve upset me to no end, the calmness that is watching baseball led me and most of my fellow fans to regard her with bemusement rather than death threats.
This actually had probably less to do with the slowness of the game and more to with the fact that this blonde had a chest both teams could have used for a bat rack.
You see? The people you encounter help make going to the games as enjoyable and memorable as the action on the field itself.
That of course is not to sell the game short. Not only do you get to see the big name players do their thing, but you also get to watch young up-and-comers trying to make it to the bigs. This makes for great baseball, as players go all out in order to win position battles.
So let’s recap, shall we?
A ton of teams to choose from, great weather, cheap tickets, entertaining fans, and great ball. What more can you ask for?
Well, besides the number of that blonde, of course.