With Major League Baseball here, still frozen baseball fans can finally warm up
Growing up near Chicago, the thought of spring training baseball as a kid provided warmth on cold and snowy days. If you could see warm weather in another part of the country, spring and summer couldn’t be too far behind was the belief. That might have been one thought behind me going to school at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1980. Not only would I get a good education, but also warmer wintertime temperatures and spring training baseball made it more appealing. I eventually transferred to the University of Texas the following year, but avoiding the brutal winters remained in my thoughts in continuing to live in the Southwest part of the country even today.
With the extreme cold and snow this year, your heart has to go out to people experiencing that, especially one of my high school buddies who is a postal carrier. He got a chance to visit me in Las Vegas, and even though he’s a Chicago White Sox fan, attending a spring training game here was at the top of his list.
When John told me that the frost in the ground at White Sox Park extended more than 20 inches in the ground this winter, I thought he might be talking about himself.
We went to the game more than two-and-a-half hours early to watch batting practice, but I think it was more that he wanted to thaw out himself after a long winter working outside.
You can’t beat temperatures around 80 degrees, and John relished every minute of sitting in the sun. When I was long ready to leave, he wanted to stay through every inning even though most of the players at the end were unrecognizable to most. We stayed of course.
Now that the regular season is near, I hope that the thought of baseball starting provides at least some mental warmth during one of the worst winters in years to those who don’t get a chance to go to spring training as it did to me when I was a kid growing up in the Midwest.