Day 2 in Goodyear another great one for Fan Correspondent @ClevelandChick
There are two types of days at Indians Spring Training — good days and great days.
Yesterday, my friends, was a great day. It was the first full day in Arizona and we started it off right by heading to batting practice first thing in the morning. I was at the field 10 minutes when Cord Phelps came up to me and asked if I wanted his bat. My answer was a squeaky little “yes, please.” Awesome. The Indians have bleacher seats set up for those who want to watch practice and a fence to hang on for those who want to snag an autograph. I spent most of the morning on the fence waiting for Jason Kipnis and Matt LaPorta.
In my last post I mentioned how important it is to say hello to people. At batting practice, I would suggest the same. While hanging on the fence, sharpie and baseball cards in hand, I met some great people. An older gentleman that has been in Arizona 15 years and became a Tribe fan five years ago when the team moved Spring Training to Goodyear. The man had never been to Cleveland but loved the team just from seeing them at the park. I met a family with photos and cards split among mom, dad and an aunt to send back to a man cave in Parma. One proud grandma had a picture of her three grandchildren, all in Tribe jerseys, for the team to sign. There was a little good-natured ribbing from some Reds fans about Choo and Hannahan (that made me tear up a little). Justin Masterson came by and signed for everyone and chatted with fans. And much to my excitement, Mike Hargrove came over to sign my slightly bent card. It pays to say please, kids. I can’t forget to mention that Cleveland comedic son Mike Polk Jr. was there and I talked to him for a couple of minutes as well.
After practice, my friend and I went straight to the game, which is right down the street. A fan note here: Some players walk back to the practice facility from the game in case you want to take a walk as well. Goodyear Ballpark is, in my opinion, the jewel of the Cactus League. The park is fan-friendly with a mini field for kids to play catch and run the bases. There isn’t a bad seat in the house. The most important thing is how friendly everyone is. From the guy selling hot dogs to the ushers, everyone has a smile to greet you. The ushers also know that there are fans from all over the country (and continent with the World Baseball Classic going on) and it may be the only time someone can get up close and personal with their favorite players. I took a lot of fantastic pictures by simply asking an usher if I could go to the front row and take a picture. I have never been turned down.
The overall vibe at Goodyear is laid back and relaxed. The players are easy going and the fans are fun.
We ended our awesome day, a little sunburned, in Tempe for dinner.
Today is a new day, and I can’t wait to see what happens!
–TribeVibe Fan Correspondent Traci (@ClevelandChick)
Cleveland native Traci Christler, who blogs independently at http://www.HappinessIsaHotPierogi.com, is in Goodyear this spring and writing about the Indians for TribeVibe. The Indians are not compensating her for her coverage, nor did they fund her travel.