Dodger Blue, Cardinal Red, and Oriole Orange

8 Mar

The good news is that, despite reports to the contrary, Nomar Garciaparra is, in fact, signing autographs down in Florida at Dodgertown, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ spring training home. I know this because I saw it first-hand on Friday when me and my dad took a day trip up to Vero Beach for some baseball action. This was our second annual father-son bonding/spring training trip, and the first of what will be three games this weekend. (Last year we saw the Sox in Fort Myers; this year we couldn’t get tickets. What a surprise.)

Dodgertown is a pretty cool place to spend the day. It’s a complex, and the practice fields and the stadium (more like a field with seats for the fans) are all in one place. And that allows for more up-close-and-personal interaction than you would get, say, in Fort Myers at this point in spring training. I got some great great photos (stay tuned for more of those later) and we talked with Tommy Lasorda and were inches from the players — especially during the game, when we sat about a foot behind the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen. Joe Torre was there, as were Don Mattingly, Todd’s favorite out-maker Juan Pierre, Derek Lowe, etc. etc. And Albert Pujols and Nomar both hit homers. Oh, and they serve Dodger Dogs at Dodgertown, too. Yum.

So what could be bad? Well, while we were enjoying ourselves, I roasted. And now I’m all red around my neck and on my face and arms. Appropriately, it’s the same color as the Cardinals’ uniforms. But it was worth it. We had a great time.

Today we went to Fort Lauderdale Stadium to see the Orioles and the Mets play. That’s really all we could do. It’s not a terribly big place and aside from the game, there’s not much to see. The Mets sent their B-squad, so the big deal for me was seeing Kevin Millar, who didn’t disappoint. He’s a fan fave, still quick with a joke, and he went 1-3. Same ole Millar.

Even though these weren’t the best ballgames I’ve seen, it’s still really cool to hear the crack of the bat again, and more importantly, to see the players doing what they (and I) enjoy so much. Spring is here, my friends. And in just a few weeks, summer will follow right behind. Bring it on.

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