Spring Training

Where: West Palm Beach and Jupiter.

Map

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Distance from Fredonia: 1,058 miles

Who: Me and moms

Getting there: We drove everywhere

What did you see: When we got to the ball game, we got our seats and went to get autographs. We were seeing the Cardinals play the Astros. The first person to come down the line was someone we didn’t know. We didn’t know who most of them were because they were minor leaguers. The first person we knew was Harrison Bader.

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His sister was one of our friend’s students. Then we saw Paul DeJong.

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He was from ISU like my moms (Illinois State University) Then we saw Mike Matheny, their manager.

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Mom said that he was an amazing catcher. I told him that I wanted to be a catcher. He said “You just keep having fun, kid.” Then we went to watch the game. Baseball has a lot of rules, so if you don’t know all of them, then you should look them up. It was Friday and it was Lent, and that meant that we couldn’t have meat. So, for dinner we got some fries and a veggie burger. There wasn’t much to say about the game because it was a pitching duel.  We left in the 7th inning because we had been in Paris the day before. We were glad, too, because the Astros scored 2 runs after that. The next day we went to Jupiter, which is the Cardinals spring training field. When we got there, we went to get some more autographs. Not many people were signing. Then Willie Magee started signing. He was one of the best players of all time. (if you don’t know who he is, you have to look up a lot about baseball) I got his autograph.

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Then Yadier Molina came down the line. He is the best catcher in baseball. There was a staff and a security guard guarding him. He was signing autographs, and then he had to stand for the national anthem. The game was about to start, and he was signing quick, and I said, “You are my role model. I want to be a catcher just like you,” and he said, “What is your name?” and I said, “Jackson,” and he said “Well alright, Jackson.”

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Then we went to enjoy the game. Yadi was not catching that day and normally we would be sad, but he was signing instead of warming up the pitcher, so that was the only reason we got his autograph, so we weren’t sad. That day we could have meat, so we got a burger and fries. It was amazing because it was the first time I had a real burger in a long time. We were losing and in the 6th inning, 2 men were on and Fowler hit a double and Oquendo told our second man on base to stop at third, and he did, and then for whatever reason he ran.

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And he got out. He got yelled at, or maybe just a glare told him something, because the next batter scored Fowler to make it 3 to 5. Then we went to Bradenton to see my great-grandparents.

What did you like: We love watching ballgames.

Final Thoughts: That was a fun 2 days, but a tiring 2 days. We still had jetlag.

Moms notes:  We were able to get Spring Training tickets from MLB for Christmas, and the experience was wonderful.  If you get there early for batting practice or when the gates open, you can often get autographs if you stand near the dugout.  The minor league players are eager to give autographs, and sometimes they make the team or are called up during the year and become a regular player.  If you’re a baseball fan, spring training is a great way to see the players up close.

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