An Arizona Fall League Day – Part 1

Here’s what it looked like as we arrived at Peoria stadium today, home of the Javelinas, about 40 minutes before game time.  The place was a ghost town!

We stepped up to the window and plunked down our $6 apiece for the 55+ rate (the regular fare is $7 per ticket).  We asked if we could buy tickets for tomorrow, and the teller said that they only sell game day tickets because selling in advance would mess up their head count.  And he was serious!  Folks, this is throwback baseball in its purest sense and at its best.

Here was Tommy Joseph strolling toward the dugout, and the place was empty inside.  I mean, from behind home plate you could hear the flags blowing behind the left field berm.  No superstition for #13, and the players seem to be happy to sign autographs for the handful of fans who show up.

The general admission ticket gives you the option of literally sitting anywhere in the ballpark.  You can change seats easily during the game – as the weekday games typically draw no more that 200 fans; weekends draw a bit more but not much.  There is a certain charm in sitting in the first row, centered behind the dugout.  You can hear all the conversations going on – from taking apart the opposition, to discussing new grips on the ball.

The Fan Guide for the Arizona Fall League, selling for a hefty $2, describes it as a “graduate school for top prospects.  It aims to showcase many of baseball’s elite prospects.  Most of those in attendance are baseball scouts, general managers, and farm directors.  It is the first time that players from different organizations get to bond with one another on pooled teams of this nature, and you can tell that they really get a kick out of playing with each other.  The catcher pumps his team up at the oustet after each out, and there are lots of “attaboys” when anyone does well.  You can hear every word reverberate through the ballpark.

The life of a scout … made me think of Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With The Curve.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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3 Responses to An Arizona Fall League Day – Part 1

  1. Dan says:

    Sounds like a field of dreams! Enjoy every moment, I can’t think of a better baseball fan to appreciate it. Does this trump Clearwater?

  2. Len says:

    Thanks, Dan-O. It IS a field of dreams! It really is a different feeling that Clearwater. On the one hand I love the intimacy of it. It’s what I envision spring training was like when it was first instituted in 1940s, where prospects were showcased. On the other hand, I love spring training because it’s a sneak preview of sorts of how the club is positioned for the season. It is rare these days that futures are going to use Spring Training as a proving ground of sorts, because the players aren’t back in their major league ready form until the end of the month when the prospects are largely back to their projected designations in the minors. I hope to continue doing ST in March, and having this as a vacation for a week or 10 days in the Fall – coupled with the beauty that Arizona has to offer.

  3. WC says:

    Beautiful. I really want to go to spring training this year. GO Tigers!

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