The MLB lockout has been lifted and spring training games have finally begun. March is my personal favorite time of the year, not only because of March Madness, but because it also signals the start of baseball season. Spring training games may not mean much for people who do not live in Florida or Arizona, but as a resident of Florida, and someone who lives 5 minutes away from the Mets spring training home, let me tell you how sweet it is.
Spring training is all about the up-close interaction you get with the game of baseball, that you usually wouldn’t be able to experience. Players, practices, and games are all easily accessible, which makes it ultra-awesome for fans of the game. Years ago, I found a spot outside of the Mets stadium where getting player autographs and pictures is as easy as 1-2-3, and I have been going ever since. This year, I was outside of the Mets clubhouse three days straight trying to get some autographs from the players arriving. It was awesome talking to Max Scherzer about his new home or Taijuan Walker about losing his golf clubs.
There is different energy in the air around spring training, even if you are not at the games. My city feels when the Mets are in town. When fans come into the restaurant where I work, we talk about the game they attended or if the Mets can win it all this year (spoiler: probably not).
There is another exciting aspect about spring training: the games themselves. The tickets are super affordable, and in the somewhat post-covid world, it is awesome to see the spring training stadiums filled to capacity once again. Sitting in the scolding hot spring sun and watching some baseball in your hometown is awesome, especially with the big-leaguers. My favorite feature of the spring training games are the ballpark hot dogs. Add sitting in the sun+baseball+a hot dog, and you have a near perfect day. I love spring training and I am so glad it is back, along with baseball itself, after looking like we might not have it in general, but those days are behind us now. Let’s enjoy this spring training and the upcoming baseball season, and enjoy some classic ballpark hot dogs.
P.S. The Blue Jays are winning the AL Pennant this year.
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