Why Every Baseball Fan Is Glad It Is February
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Why Every Baseball Fan Is Glad It Is February

I will give you a hint: It is a five-word phrase.

Why Every Baseball Fan Is Glad It Is February
The Majors

The five words that every avid Baseball fans is happy to hear were muttered around the sports world this week. Those words being “Pitchers and Catchers report today.”

Until the first of April, every Major League Baseball team will report to their spring-time home after a long few months of winter hibernation. For the first few weeks, it will consist of the pitchers and catchers getting the dust off of their joints and warming their arms up to 100 percent.

This is the time for rookies to make their mark on their team and for the veterans to show the rookies the reason that they are still in the minor leagues. Teams are located all throughout the state of Florida and the state of Arizona. But truthfully, the only teams I care about are located within an hour drive of each other. The Detroit Tigers are my go-to American League team, while my hometown boys, the Atlanta Braves, are my National League favorite. Both are not projected very highly by ESPN’s preseason rankings, but I always keep my head up. Being a fan of a team does not mean being only a fan during the good seasons. You have to stick with them even in the worst of times.

Who would not want to go and watch America’s pastime minutes from the beach? I know I would never pass it up.

Spring Training for the Tigers is located in Lakeland, FL. I am lucky enough to have a grandma (or G’mawmaw as I call her) that loves her some baseball. She probably could coach an MLB team, not saying she would be top-notch, but she could hold her own against a team like the Miami Marlins. She knows more than I do about baseball and that says a lot.

I like to think of myself as a sports fanatic. I know most stats, and if I do not know something, I will just go look it up and BOOM -- I have a new fact of knowledge in my head! My grandma moved to Lakeland for the sole purpose of being able to watch her boys go play some pre-season baseball. What an awesome grandma that is!

Anyway, when I was about 13, I got my first taste of what Spring Training was about. It is an experience like no other. Back when I was in middle school, my school district decided to give us a break from school almost every other month. No lie, I would go to school for a month, then I would have a week off the next month. Pretty cool in my opinion.

But this was one of the first years that this break was implemented in late February. My family hopped in our Ford Expedition and made the trek south on Interstate 75. I arrived in the middle of nowhere at one of these senior living communities. My grandma was sitting in the living room of her house and brought up that the Tigers had a game the next day and that we should go. I was expecting some extravagant ballpark. The park itself is the Single-A affiliate of the Tigers. I sat down in my seat in what seemed like 1,500-degree heat. My dad leaned over to me and said, “Noah, that is Whitey Herzog, the former manager of the Cardinals. Go ask for his autograph.”

So that is what I did. I got up walked three seats over and asked this older gentleman for his autograph. I had no clue who he truly was until I came across the autograph some years later and researched him. Later in the game, my dad pointed out John Schuerholz, the president of the Braves organization. I received his autograph as well.

Spring Training is like no other sports event you will ever experience. You will see players from the past and you will see the young guns that will be playing on your television in the coming years.

The Braves organization plays out of Disney and the Tigers out of Lakeland. Drive anywhere in Florida, and you are bound to be within a stone’s throw of a Spring Training facility. If you ever have the chance to go, please go, even if you do not like baseball. (I do not know how someone could not like baseball. That is a totally different article though.)

So get yourself a nice cold beverage and a bag of peanuts because MLB season has begun and there is no slowing the baseball train down now.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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