Posted on: January 11, 2013
Tempe, Arizona: Spring Training Home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
In just a few weeks, not only will I be celebrating a birthday – send all gifts to our office – pitchers and catchers will be reporting for spring training. I lived in South Florida for a few years and went to a handful of Grapefruit League games. Because I’ve experienced both, I can honestly say that the Cactus League Spring Training is a lot better. We have 15 teams, all of which play relatively close to each other. You can find all that you need to know to plan your trip at www.tempebaseball.com, the Tempe Tourism Office’s guide to the best time of year.
Spring training is great for so many reasons. Tickets are dirt cheap, it’s a laid back atmosphere and you have better access to your favorite players than you do in the regular season. If you haven’t been to Arizona for Cactus League games, you can get a preview with our spring training video on YouTube.
I grew up playing baseball through high school. I’m originally from New Jersey and those of you who know anything about the East Coast will know that sports are a huge deal, particularly baseball. No, I’m not a Yankee fan, nor have I ever claimed to be. I bleed blue and orange when I comes to New York baseball teams. But I have a love of the game, something I can thank my dad for. He took me to my first game and would play catch with me in the front yard after school. Yes, I love the Mets and will never stop rooting for them, even though they’re horrible right now. They’re my team. But thanks to my dad, I have a love baseball. Just because I can’t make it out to Queens to catch a game, doesn’t mean that I don’t root for other players or like to see other teams do well. Baseball was and still is a big part of my life. In fact, the last time I cried was at a baseball game about five years ago in Cincinnati. No joke, I’m man enough to admit it.
A few years ago, I went to Chase Field in Phoenix when the Cardinals were in town. I wanted to see Albert Pujols play in person. What Mickey Mantle was to my father, Albert Pujols is to me – the closest thing to baseball perfection there is. He hit a home run that game and now, I can cross that off my bucket list.
This spring, I plan on heading over to Tempe Diablo Stadium, the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to see Albert and the new ‘Angel in the Outfield’, Josh Hamilton. Tempe Diablo Stadium is great for a variety of reasons. For me, it’s really close to my apartment and office, it’s easy to find and tickets are a steal. There are two games I’m pretty excited about. You’ll see me in the stands. First, I want to see the Giants play the Angels on Feb. 27. As the defending World Champions, it would be fun to see Pujols try to take a Barry Zito curveball over the fence.
This year, the World Baseball Classic will be played. It’s similar to the World Cup some ways. Countries field teams that are made up of amateur and professional players and compete against each other. The team from Italy will be here playing the Angels on March 6th. I think it’ll be a fun time and something a little different that should be interesting to watch.
Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.