While the rest of my group headed off to breakfast at about 10:20am I made the brief walk down the street from our hotel to Scottsdale Stadium.
I had decided that, since this stadium was a bit more intimate and cozy, I could walk all the way around it before the gates opened at 11:00am. I was right. I started at the southwest end, near home plate:
And then I proceeded counter-clockwise to the first base gate:
And down the street past a practice field until I was behind the stadium at the center field gate:
Then I took a look through the tunnel in center field (where the Padres bus would soon pull in):
There would be batting practice! See the cage?
I had some time so I walked even further, past the berm in left field:
And to the concourse in left… I took a picture through the gates:
I decided that I would enter through the center field gate and run to the left field lawn as soon as the park opened. As it turned out, the old lady at the gate hadn’t heard the radio announcement that the park was open and I didn’t get inside in time to even check for Easter eggs, but I could tell right away that the field and stadium were great. It was smaller than Camelback and not nearly as spread out. I felt like I could run around the whole place in a minute or two.
The Giants were hitting and in all my time on the left field berm I think two home runs got hit up there… the wind was blowing in like crazy and anything that had any notable height got knocked down before it could get near the outfield fence. After about 20 minutes in left field I went to right center field.
No luck there… and that berm was STEEP!
Finally, I went to far right field:
On the practice field behind me, Tim Lincecum and a few other Giants pitchers were running some drills. Finally, after about five minutes near the right field wall I got Waldis Joaquin to toss me a ball as he came out of the bullpen. After taking a few pictures I went down to the foul line on the third base side of the stadium and bullpen coach Mark Gardner tossed me my second baseball of the day.
BP wound down after that (about noon) and, though i made it to the dugout, nobody tossed anything up–and Buster Posey signed a few autographs but I missed out on that. I decided to head to the concourse underneath the seats to peruse the concourse while I waited for the rest of the group to arrive to the game. There is one main concourse at Scottsdale Stadium that is partially covered by the seats behind home plate. Over at Camelback Ranch there is very little shade anywhere, on the concourse or in the stands. It was nice to cool down for a bit.
Before the crowds got too big I made sure to take a nice panoramic photo of the stadium from behind home plate:
le and the others got there (they sneaked in some cupcakes–score!) we found our seats. Michelle and I were actually in the first row about halfway down the left field line.
I felt like I had a decent chance at a foul ball. Or, if Kyle Blanks ended an inning by catching a fly ball maybe he’d toss it to me. Neither of those things happened… though I would have had a shot at a foul if an old vendor hadn’t been hanging out in the aisle to my right. It was a good game. The Padres continued their great Spring Training run… they beat up on the Giants. Jesse had a long drive ahead of him so he requested that we leave a bit early–I couldn’t object. So, at about 3:00pm the six of us met up at the home plate gate and headed back to the hotel. We had a seven-hour drive ahead of us through the AZ and CA deserts.
We got back to Irvine around 10:00 that evening… it was a really fun trip. Michelle and I decided we’d definitely go back to Spring Training–maybe even next year.