This past week I spent a couple of days going to see some Spring Training Baseball. The first day was this last Sunday where my friend, Tom Carbone, and I visited the Astros’ home field down in Kissimmee to watch the Astros play against the Mets. Tom was well prepared for the rain, but I guess I didn’t get the memo. The game was supposed to start at 1:00, but it was still raining a little bit and it wasn’t looking good when the tarp was still on the field. There was still going to be at least 30 minutes of warm-ups once the players got onto the field. They finally got the tarp off the field and the game started around 2:00. They got one inning in and the sky opened up. The players left the field and we waited for at least ten minutes in the rain waiting for them to announce something. Finally, they called it. The game was canceled. Fortunately Ticketmaster did refund the price of our tickets.
Tuesday was going to be the big double header. Tom and I were going to drive down to Bradenton, just south of Tampa to see the Astros take on the Pirates. Unfortunately, Tom had to pull out because of an important meeting he had to attend for his company, 360Ed. He was a critical part of the meeting and I understood when he decided he couldn’t attend. So, I stood the course and attended the first game on my own. The first thing I noticed upon arrival was that I was in quite the minority at the tender young age of thirty-eight. Apparently weekday baseball is a social event for the retired people of Florida. I was surrounded by old people who were more interested in talking about if their friends were at the game than watch it. It was a good game. The Astros took the early lead and kept pounding it to the Pirates scoring almost 2 runs per inning. They ended up winning 11-1.
The game ended around 3:45 and I had to rush to Lakeland, the home of the Detroit Tigers. It was an hour and a half drive and the next game started at 6:30. I met up with Tom and we headed over to the game to see the Tigers take on the Washington Nationals. Once again, the stadium was very nice for a Spring Training facility. I then came to the realization that the Astros’ field in Kissimmee is just not up to par with the others. This stadium was huge. It probably sat six time that of the one in Kissimmee. I discovered one of the great traditional disserts at Tigers’ games: their Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream. It was a great day of baseball, food, and fun. I vowed to start making this trip something I do every year. Can’t wait until next year.