Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring Training in Tucson 2011 - Game 1: Chicago White Sox 12 @ Arizona Diamondbacks 1

Yesterday (March 7, 2011) I went to one of only two spring training games in Tucson this year. It is rather sad that there are only two and that it took a tragedy to get baseball teams to play in Tucson. It is not the same as having actual spring training in Tucson, but better than nothing. Plus, the ballpark is kind of nice looking without advertising all over the place and the only thing on the outfield wall being a 12 retired number type thing honoring Christina-Taylor Green's little league number.

Of course, it is now no longer called Tucson Electric Park and instead Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. It certainly does not seem like a stadium, but it appears it is mainly used for Pima Community College football since the last of baseball abandoned it last year. However, at least it will be seeing some real baseball this summer with the Padres AAA team (Tucson Padres) being temporary relocated to Tucson while they build a new ballpark in California for the Portland Beavers to be permanently relocated.

The ballpark was its usual spring training mess of long concession lines, but they actually did better than normal. That is actually surprising considering these were mostly new employees and no major events being here in awhile. Definitely, liked that they had a new vendor with stir fry noodles that were vegetarian only, as usually it is just pizza as an option at the Tucson ballparks. I sure hope they keep that vendor for the Padres games this summer.

The game itself was okay. I liked it more than I thought I would because I actually knew several of the players as former Nats including some decent guys, such as Adam Dunn. Of course, the local paper said that it was mostly nobodies playing, but considering I have not followed anything except the Nats the past year and a half I actually knew who several of the players were. Of course, I have also heard of some of the Dbacks since Mik tells me about them occasionally.

The actual action of the game was not that great, but that tends to be what spring training is like and sounds like maybe the teams did not send everyone down to Tucson, which is what partially killed Tucson spring training in the first place. Sure did not make me care for more spring training here with it not seeming like much more than a publicity game, but I kind of like the idea the local sportswriter Greg Hansen wrote about having a game of the week down in Tucson every week of spring training.

I think the turnout shows that the people still like spring training in Tucson. It sucks it was only because of a tragedy that they are even playing any down here this year.