I'd never been to Spring Training in Arizona before, despite being a lifelong baseball fan and living in such close proximity to Pheonix. So last week I packed up some gear and headed out to the Cactus League with my oldest son. He has turned into a huge baseball fan himself, however he doesn't share my love of our hometown boys, the Padres. He is, as I was when I was at his age, more interested in the players and the teams that make it to the playoffs and win World Championships. So our first stop, to his protests, was the Peoria Sports Complex for the Cactus League opening day match-up between the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners. The weather couldn't have been nicer - sunny skies and mid 60's. The game itself was out of control after half an inning with the Pads second base prospect Jedd Gyorko going deep in the top half of the first with a grand slam. The Pads lead 6-0 after half an inning, never looking back, as they cruised to a 9-3 victory. Both teams only started a handful of the expected opening day starters, though the quality of baseball was good and it was good to relax and enjoy some live action. The Peoria Sports Complex looks relatively new and offers a great array of food and the other stuff that all the major leagues parks now offer to give you that "complete entertainment experience". Seems it's no longer enough to offer just a baseball game. To that end, my boy brought the heat at the speed pitch, topping out at 71mph, which was good enough to take his age group. The stadium is so small that every seat in the house is great. And the vibe from both the fans and the players was super laid back. We knew we were in for a great weekend after a great start here in Peoria.
Peoria Sports Complex - Spring training home to the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners
San Diego Padres vs Seattle Mariners
The Grounds Crew
Will Veneble - Done for the Day
Soaking in the AZ sun