Saturday, February 26, 2005

More from Cactus League

Day two of our pre-Spring Training hunt was awesome. Video will come as soon as my Web host (that stores my video clips) is up again.

We began the day at Gene Autry Park (aptly named for the former owner of the Angels) nesteld among the citrus groves of West Mesa where we hoped to see the Anaheim/LA/Southern California/Tustin Angels. We were there at 9:45 am, and clearly we were at the right place; the team was not there. OK… where were they? Maybe Arte Moreno gave them the day off?

On the way to West Mesa, we passed Fitch Park, the pre-Spring Training site of the Cubs. We’ve been there before, and, in another lifetime actually worked there. A story for another day. The crowd was building, so I suggested we head over to see the Oakland A’s practice in Papago Park. The park is hidden among the Red Rocks and has a breathtaking backdrop. We made our way over to the park and the crowds were light. It is the most fan friendly of the current camp sites with players walking around from practice field to field with little or no security.

Aside from a run-in with a numb-nuts security guard, who hassled me over my parking spot, it was a fantastic time. Truly a highlight was seeing Huston Street, who has been pictured and chronicled on this blog back in November as the star of the championship Arizona Fall League game. Street signed everyone’s autograph and said thank you to everyone and was a sheer delight. I commented to another fan that being the son of a former pro athlete (Texas Longhorn QB Jim Street) he knows how to handle himself in public. We’re pulling for him to be Rookie of the Year.

Actually, we’re now probably done with pre-Spring Training. Our first game is next Saturday with the Giants at Ho Ho Kam to play the Sosa-less Cubs. It will be my first time seeing two Alous (Felipe and son Moises) on the same field on the same team since I was about 10 years old and all three Alou brothers (Felipe, Matty and Jesus) played for the Giants.