It has been Chad's dream to go to Arizona to catch Spring Training. Dreams can be fulfilled when only a 5 hours drive away.
Welcome to Cactus League Spring Training:
We met up with our good friends, Liz & Kit Wallis. They also enjoy the game & sunshine. Saturday started bright & early with a visit to the Peoria Sports Complex where the Padres play. We were once again OVERLY impressed with our hometown Padres. As we were driven, by cute retired gentlemen in golf carts, from the parking lot to the training fields, they pointed us right to where the majors were taking batting practice. Who else but Chase Headley, Keller's favorite player, was signing autographs at the fence. This is Keller's amazement after meeting Chase:He slowly turned around and said, 'I just met Chase Headley' and was a bit pensive for a few minutes.
He did shake that off & get right into the know-how of collecting autographs:
This is Andrew Cashner who is the Opening Day 2014 pitcher for the Padres. He talked with Chad, Kel & other fans for a good 10 minutes.
I think both Kel & Chad were floating on air after our hour on the practice field.
During the game we sat just above the Padres dugout. We stuck Kel on the end of the aisle to meet the players coming in each inning. He tried & tried to get the ball they would throw up to the stands. Baseball fans are a friendly bunch & our section got behind Kel trying to score him the ball. Finally - in the last innings - the 1st Base Coach threw one up to Kel & our entire section cheered.
Sunday it was off to celebrate the Sabbath with the Angels in the Devil's stadium:
We had a much different experience with the Angels. Their starting line-up players do not warm up on the practice fields - but in the closed stadium. When you are able to get in the stadium they are long gone. Chad, Kel & Kit waited along the wall where they would walk in for 1 1/2 hours. When they did walk in - they didn't even acknowledge the fans. Slightly disappointing....
Even though the Angels weren't as friendly - their gigantic Super Nachos made up for some of their attitudes:
Great trip. Great sunshine. Great chatting. Great baseball. Great new tradition.