Friday, March 1, 2013

Kj's Baseball Collection: Braves Spring Training 2013

Braves Spring Training 2013 Baseball
After being somewhat disappointed in the Nationals Spring Training ball option, which I probably would not have gotten if it was not my favorite team, I was really excited to find a cool one when we went to see the Nats play the Braves at Champion Stadium.  The ball features a Spring Training 2013 logo with palm trees and says Grapefruit League.  The Braves logo is kind of hidden in the logo, but as a non-Braves fan I do not mind that at all.

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Brave Team Signatures

Braves Mini Bat
Before we left for the spring training trip Mik said he was not going to get any mini bats unless they were of the parks or really cool.  Apparently, this one with the signatures of several Braves players was a design he thought qualified as really cool as he just had to have it when he saw it.  It is actually a 2012 Braves mini bat design and his reasoning for getting it was that it has Chipper Jones on it, which is sort of special with him now retired.
Braves Mini Bat

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Champion Stadium

Champion Stadium
There were quite a few food items that appealed to Mik as we walked around Champion Stadium.  At first he was really into getting the brisket sandwich basket.  However, once he found out there was a cheese pretzel dog he had to have that, as he is a huge pretzel dog fan.  He really enjoyed it, although it ended up being quite messy with the cheese oozing out as he ate it.
Champion Stadium

The evening was a little windy and cool, so he also was glad that Dad found hot chocolate for him to warm up with.  He did not say what he thought of it, but it must have been at least okay or he was really cold because he downed it pretty fast (Dad taste tested to check it was not too hot before giving it to Mik).

Accessibility Review: Champion Stadium

Champion StadiumTonight we went to see the Nationals play the Braves at Champion Stadium located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.  We were staying at Disney World, so we could have taken the bus transportation they offer from resorts to the ESPN Wide World of Sports, but Mik does not particularly like riding on buses and there can end up being a bit of waiting for them at times.  Thus, we drove from the resort and parked at the complex, which is at least free, although you can pay $20 for valet.  The lanes are clearly marked for disabled parking as you enter the parking area, however, there are not that many rows of actual handicap spots and like our Disneyland experience they always seem to be full and it is just a close to park/tram section of the parking lot.  Since we need the handicap space to be able to unload Mik, we just parked between two spots like we normally do when handicap spots are full.

Champion Stadium
For the game we sat in section 104 along the first base foul line.  The wheelchair rows are nicely marked on the ground for each spot.  The ushers are good about bringing out chairs as needed.  They only allow you to buy one companion ticket and oddly our ticket for the row in front was for a space on the opposite end of the row and not right in front like we thought because the bleacher row starts with 1 on the right and the wheelchair row behind it starts with 1 on the left.  It did not end up mattering, though, as they had no problem bringing us two chairs and sitting together.  It is nice they enforce the one companion spot for the wheelchair rows while also being flexible to allow you to sit together on gameday when it is not crowded.

Champion Stadium
Overall, though, Mik quickly rated the accessibility low.  Mainly he did not like that the handicap section was not raised more than the typical row above the regular seating.  This meant that his view was easily blocked when people sat in that row.  Of course, he also did not like there being no cup holders, but that is something lacking at even some major league regular stadiums, especially when you sit in the bleacher sections.

Most annoying to him, though, was when there was a bunch of fireworks after the National Anthem.  He was totally ready for potential ones to go with rockets red glare, but he was pissed when there was a mini show of mostly really noisy fireworks after the anthem.  Between that and it being a somewhat windy and chilly evening, his opinion was tainted a little more than normal, so I think his low rating is not as low as he made it seem, although it really does make a big positive difference in enjoyment when the wheelchair seating at the top of a section is raised up more.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kj's Baseball Collection: Curly W Spring Training 2013

Nationals Spring Training BaseballI was kind of disappointed that they do not really have an unique Grapefruit League logo and the Spring Training 2013 logo is for both Arizona and Florida, but I still decided to get the baseball to for my collection.  Certainly better than the plain white ones they had with the Curly W.  The Strasburg and Harper ones were more interesting, but I am not much into collecting the player specific baseballs.

Nationals Spring Training Baseball

Spring Training 2013: Space Coast Stadium - Miami Marlins @ Washington Nationals

Space Coast Stadium
Today Dad and I went to see the Miami Marlins play the Washington Nationals at the Nationals spring training home, Space Coast Stadium.  The first stop was the Team Shop to get Dad a Nats shirt, so he did not keep wearing his Cubs shirt to the games.  Also, got some pics outside with the Casey at Bat and space shuttle statues, although the car salesman kind of made it not worth going near the Casey at Bat one.
Space Coast Stadium

For the game we sat in the bleachers (219).   The view of the field was good and the bleachers are not bad since they do have backs.  Dad found the $10 deal for a hot dog, fries, and souvenir cup of soda pretty good.  I was disappointed to find them have stands advertising cheese and pizza pretzel only to go up to order and find out they only had plain ones this season.  How hard is it to cover up the options no longer available?

Space Coast Stadium
The game itself was nothing special, as spring training usually is not.  Mik actually almost wished he was going when this morning he heard Dan Haren was starting, as he liked him when he played for the Dbacks, but he never has been into spring training ball even when the Dbacks used to play down in Tucson.  We actually only ended up staying through three innings for the order to go around once.  It just was not much fun sitting in the hot sun (they have pretty much no shaded seating in the whole ballpark) and no reason to stay when we gave up scoring spring training games years ago since it gets annoying with all the lineup changes.

Overall fun to see the Nats play some baseball and looking forward to them playing at the Braves Friday, but still anxiously awaiting some real baseball come April and seeing if they can be good again.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2 Grapefruit League Games for Spring Training 2013

As a Nats fan I have been wanting to see some Grapefruit League games for years.  By the time Spring Training rolls around this year, for the first time since I lived in D.C. that the Grapefruit League is the closest spring training to go see.  Thus, this year we are going to go see the Marlins @ Nationals on February 27 and the Nationals @ Braves on March 1.

Mik is now quite picky with what games he will go see, since he is still rather ballparked out.  However, he has decided to go to the Braves game, as he is thinking of it as more of a Disney thing to see than a baseball thing and I somehow have not Disneyed him out!  Of course, he is also tagging along to enjoy some time at Walt Disney World, especially some lefse.