July 23, 2014
Now that Major League Baseball is entering the second half of the season, we’ll begin to see which teams will be extending their season in playoffs.
But first, let’s take you back to spring training a period when each team has hope toward reaching the playoffs and ultimately the World Series. Spring training is a much awaited time for fans as well. Fans enjoy seeing the stars of yesterday, today and tomorrow all under one roof, playing and competing in the field of dreams.
Surprisingly, only two states offer these fields of dreams. And, fortunately I live in close proximity to one of them.
Florida and Arizona have Spring Training facilities that host games each March. What’s great about these facilities is that they are set in smaller venues providing fans a closer experience to the game that they wouldn’t have in the regular stadiums. These fan friendly ballparks provide kids have a better chance of getting a ball autographed by their favorite players, or even catching a foul ball.
Speaking of ballparks, that’s what I wanted to discuss.
I reside in Mesa, Arizona. We have plenty of stadiums housing many teams (the White Sox, Athletics and Dodgers to name a few) in Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria and Mesa. This year saw another stadium added to the list.
In March 2014, spring training occurred at the new Cubs Park, home of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs welcomed their fans with open arms. The stadium which was packed to capacity on game days, is still racking in large numbers of baseball and excited enthusiastic Cubby fans.
Personally, the best part of the stadium for me is that it is within walking distance. Keep in mind that in March in Arizona is not that hot . Walking to Cubs Park and back from my home is a pleasurable experience and one that fulfilled a childhood dream.
Growing up in the Bronx as a young kid I dreaded the 45 minute subway ride to Yankee stadium. I always wished I could walk to the stadium. I feel my dream has been fulfilled…. walking to Cubs Park on game day. The teams are different, but the dream is the same. Now, as long as I’m an Arizonian, I’m living the dream: walking to a baseball stadium, being up close personal and clearly hearing “Play Ball”!
Well, that’s it for today. Remember to check out the Facebook page for the Update. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and keep on reading. Until then, see you next time sports fans.
*Pictures taken by me
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