Headed to Scottsdale for a bit of nostalgia, the lure of seeing some baseball, Cactus League style, is upon me. Sheri is busy with something else, so I am headed to Scottsdale Stadium, the “winter” home of the 2012 World Champion San Francisco Giants. I have not been to a Spring Training game since the Eighties or Nineties, when my kids were youngsters. The big stars then were Will Clark of the Giants, and the Oakland A’s duo of Canseco and McGwire. Today, the big stars are Buster Posey, the National League MVP, Matt Cain, Panda Sandoval, and Reverend Hunter Pence.
Back then, Spring Training was the only chance for my kids to catch a baseball, get up close to the players, and even get some autographs. At one point, my son was catching and retrieving so many baseballs, I made him give them away to some of the younger and smaller kids. If you ask nicely, I will reveal his secret!!!! I made him stop when he got to seventeen baseballs.
Another important part of Scottsdale in March was the morning round of golf with my son. We would tee off fairly early, around 8am, then swing over to the Giants or Oakland Athletics game in the afternoon. To top off a great day, we would have dinner at a place where the players, announcers, and celebrities would eat, places like the Pink Pony, and Don and Charlie’s.
If you are a baseball fan, I would strongly encourage you to make this pilgrimage sometime. Some people call it the rites of Spring. I just think it was a great time for a family vacation, and bonding with my now 32 year old son. Of course, he was already shooting par by then, and having to give me about ten strokes! Baseball and golf, a great vacation combination.