Spring Training is Here, pt. 2

Spring TrainingPitchers and catchers, along with some over-eager position players, have finally reported to Ft. Myers and Hammond Stadium. Since this is my first spring training, I had no idea that people came to watch the morning practices–there is even a concession and souvineer stand set up.

Since I’m still somewhat new to the scene, I’m a little star-struck…so I snuck out of the office and caught a few minutes of the pitchers and catchers working out. You can tell which fans are seasoned ones, well equipped with a wind-breaker (they get cold easily these days), a roster and pen, and a methodic trailing of the players as they move from the main field to the bullpen to the back fields.

As I stood behind a crowd of people by the bullpen, I noticed a young boy, probably four or five, who refused to leave when his dad said it was time to go. He had found the perfect gap to watch the pitchers warm up, and he follwed their pitches–back and forth, back and forth. It’s amazing when you see a kid in such awe of these athletes, but I didn’t know whether to smile, or be sad at the sight, knowing there is only an 8% chance any baseball player will ever wear a major league jersey. Either way, I hope these players know how much of a role model they are to these kids (ahem… are you listening, Michael Phelps?).

It’s interesting to be in an employee position here, where I can stand from afar and take in what being a “fan” really is. It’s fun to see the older fans come out to practice in the morning, people that have probably been coming, faithfully, for years, and fun to see Dad’s bringing their sons to what is maybe their first glance at Major League Baseball, and everyone in between.

Vin Scully (in For Love of the Game): “After 19 years in the big leagues, 40 year old Billy Chapel has trudged to the mound for over 4000 innings. But tonight, he’s pitching against time, he’s pitching against the future, against age, against ending. Tonight, he will make the fateful walk to the loneliest spot in the world, the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium, to push the sun back into the sky and give us one more day of summer.”

np

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Intern, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins, Minor League Baseball, mlb, Sports, Spring Training, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Spring Training is Here, pt. 2

  1. mdbirdlover

    Natalie,

    How cool it is to be you! I hope that you don’t lose that star-struck type feeling when you get into the day in and day out grind of your internship and school (and life.) Remember that little boy who found that gap to watch those players and the feeling he must’ve had to carry you through and infuse it into your work.

    I dug this story! You are going to do so great…
    I’m an Oriole fan and an American League girl but a baseball lover!
    Good luck and stop by and see me some time.
    http://www.mdbirdlover.com.

  2. Great quote but stop checking out the action and get those registers programmed!!! J/K!!! For all her friends and family out there Natalie is doing a great job so far and we are very fortunate to have her working with us this Spring and Summer.
    Kris

  3. Mike Platt

    Great writing. What an opportunity to be with the Big Club. Enjoy while you can, not many people get your to see Spring Training thru your eyes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s