I have always wanted to check out Spring Training, but assumed it would be extremely expensive. Why did I never even LOOK at the prices? Oh. Because I am a total dufus. I was so convinced I would be disappointed that I was afraid to even look! DUH! Ticket prices depend on the ballpark/team, but the parks are small and there are no bad seats. The cheapest is $8… EIGHT DOLLARS! Double DUH to me! Nay, triple duh.
Due to a car accident (someone else caused), I had a free rental car from Enterprise for a week (unlimited mileage!!) and decided it was time to see some baseball in Arizona! Sara and I arrived in, uhm, beautiful Glendale, Arizona with no hotel booked. (See? Still have not learned our lesson.) We drove around the endless strip malls aimlessly for a bit, until we decided on Ramada Arrowhead Towne Center for the night. When our stomachs started to growl, we met up with a friend of mine at The Lodge in Scottsdale, AZ. They had fried pickles. You heard me! FRIED FRICKEN PICKLES! The food was great and the view of the good looking baseball players sitting next to us was great, too.
The next afternoon, we were off to the Peoria Sports Complex for the Chicago White Sox @ San Diego Padres. I was in such an excited daze that I liken my behavior to a pinball machine. Thankfully, Sara was there to keep me from running into things. The stadium is crazy small. We had seats behind HOMEPLATE for only $20!! Are you kidding me!?!?!?! Oh.. And check out our view!
Yea. That’s the White Sox and they were that close to us! In front of us were a lot of scouts with their radar guns.
This ballfield was a bit on the quiet side. I am used to loud music to get the fans pumped and that wasn’t happening here. I still LOVED it, even though Sara and I were sort of reprimanded for leaning on the railings and standing on the wrong side of the walkway.
That evening, we ate at Bobby – Q. I definitely recommend this place! It was delicious AND was NOT in a strip mall! We made two incredibly awesome new friends there that kept us laughing all night. There is a lounge in the room next to the restaurant. Not at all my type of music, but WOW was it crowded for a Tuesday night!
Ramada only had one night available, so we switched to Thunderbird Executive Inn. I highly recommend this place! Very nice! It is on a college campus, which is different. It was clean, quiet and close enough to the ballparks for us! We got free passes to use the very nearby YMCA for our morning workouts, too. Rock on, Sara, for this find!
The next day was Anaheim Angels @ Chicago White Sox at the Camelback Ranch. This felt much more like a regular game. There was music to get everyone excited for the game and it was noisier.. Oh, and the Sox won. : )
I hated leaving the ballpark, but…
alas.. there was one more game to attend that day…
We high-tailed it to Talking Stick and grabbed our tickets. My friend works for the Rockies and was able to take us on a tour of the facility. We got a behind-the-scenes tour that rocked!
And we learned hard lessons about
not following the rules!
The last day, I was DETERMINED to meet the White Sox. It seemed logical to me that they would warm up at the ballpark at which they were to play. I was wrong. Duh, again. We did find them at their own park, watched them do batting practice and patiently waited for them to pass so I could meet a few.
This was a very amazing experience. Watching baseball on tv or even at a big ballpark is absolutely awesome, but seeing them in small parks and having access to actually meeting them is priceless. I highly recommend this trip for everyone that loves baseball!!
aaaaaaaand PLAY BALL!!!!!!