Some trips are fun, but you are glad to be going home. Other trips make you wish you had never left home! But when it comes to our trip for Spring Training in 2017, well, in all honesty we hate to see it end. What a great trip we have had!
Of course, ultimately, it is about the baseball. We want to see the newly signed talent and gather intel with which to make our own opinions (and that we did by seeing Hammel and Minor pitch, but sadly missed Soler). And though it is only the Cactus League (this year, perhaps the Grapefruit League in ’18!), it is always fun for your team to win. The boys from KC made that happen as wins by the Royals were accented by home runs from Eric Hosmer (414 ft.!) and Lorenzo Cain.
On a personal level, the super-charged baseball atmosphere was topped off by some quality time with Royals Hall of Famer, Willie Wilson. (If you ever get the chance to talk with Willie, or better, listen to him, take that chance! ) He was signing autographs for a local charity, but he was also just taking time to interact with fans. It was terrific.
Even the food was fun. We just had to try a couple of the new items offered this season in Surprise, and you can see them here. The simple dish is macaroni and cheese with a diced up bratwurst. It may have been created for the kids, but my wife loved it! The messy looking thing was a “Triple Play, home run style.” Translated, that amounts to a hot dog, wrapped with a hamburger, wrapped with two pieces of bacon, and served on a bun with sriracha mayo, nacho cheese and pico de gallo.
Of course, it was about the baseball. The laid-back vibe is almost palpable, and yet there is an energy that flows through almost everything. It is part excitement, part anticipation, part camaraderie, part…well, it is just hard to describe. At first, I thought maybe it was just me and my borderline obsession with the game. However, when the regular crowd doubled for the Saturday match against the Giants and the energy seemed to surge proportionally, well, it just seems that Spring Training lives up to its rep.