Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PLAY BALL….INDIANS DEFEAT THE REDS!

Tuesday, March 4 – The main reason we came to Phoenix this spring is to attend Cleveland Indians Spring Training. They play their pre-season games in Goodyear, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix. They are a member of the fifteen team Cactus League.

Cleveland Indians

This is the “home” opener for the Indians. They played yesterday against the Cincinnati Reds but were the visiting team. They play the Reds again today and are the home team.

We arrived early to the ball park to enjoy the atmosphere and to explore the stadium. The weather was absolutely gorgeous.

For our family and friends back in Ohio.Cleveland Indians

We have been here two other times, but it's as exciting today as it was in the past. We even sat in the same section of the stadium as we did in the past.

The boys of summer ready to play some ball.
Spring training Cleveland Indians

Matt Underwood and Rick Manning, our TV announcers.
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We are on the first base line between first base and right field. Great area for a chance to catch a foul ball. Great seats, but no foul balls came near this time.

Do you recognize anyone in the photo below?
Cleveland Indians

We thought Marsha was a huge fan. This guy has got her beat by a mile.

Cleveland Indians spring training

The teams are still trying out many of the younger players and trying to figure out who to keep in the big league and who to play in the minors. There are about 65 players in camp today. They need to shave this down to 40 before the beginning of the regular season.

Starting pitcher for the Tribe….Josh Tomlin.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous

Play ball.
Spring training Cleveland Indians

To top it off the day, the Indians were victorious! Go Tribe.

Spring training Cleveland Indians

After the game the senior fans were invited to “stroll the bases.” We didn't waste any time getting over to the field gate. As a matter of fact, we were the first in line and led the fans around the infield. Pretty exciting, hey!

Spring training Cleveland Indians

Spring training Cleveland Indians

Marsha crosses home plate ahead of the pack.
Spring training Cleveland Indians

Next up is a game this Sunday, March 8th against the Texas Rangers. We are attending this game with friends and fellow RV'ers, Janice and Dave. The game is being held in Surprise, AZ, the Rangers home field, so check back and see how bad the Indians defeat the Rangers! Go Tribe!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

WEST PARK LOOP TRAIL…RELAXING HIKE

Friday, February 27 – We headed to Papago Park this morning in Phoenix, Arizona, to hike the West Park Loop Trail.

West Park Loop Trail

This trail is listed as easy with mostly smooth and wide paths. We decided to make it a little more challenging by hiking the trail higher up on the mountain. The views are nicer up there, and the trail is rougher and more strenuous. If you choose, you can even move further down the mountain and walk on a paved park path that circles the park.

West Park Loop Trail

West Park Loop Trail

West Park Loop Trail

There is even a large amphitheater.
West Park Loop Trail

There are two buttes we hiked around.

West Park Loop Trail

West Park Loop Trail

It is recommended to hike counter clockwise around the buttes. Not exactly sure why that is recommended, but we chose that direction regardless. The easy trail is listed at 4 miles in length. The more difficult route we choose to hike ended up being about 5.5 miles in length.

We got some beautiful views of the city of Phoenix from the higher trail.

West Park Loop Trail

One unique vision was the never ending line of air planes taking off from the Phoenix airport. It was like a never ending train. One after another about 15 seconds apart lifting steeply off the runway and disappearing on the horizon. Where the heck are all those people going....ha ha!

West Park Loop Trail

We took a side trail up to the top of the smaller butte. Some very neat views of the surrounding area. If you are a more adventurous climber, you can ascend the bigger butte also. That takes some pretty steep rock climbing and of course you then have to figure how to get down. We chose to pass on that challenge. Old bones reportedly break easy. Actually, we didn't see anyone attempting that climb.

West Park Loop Trail

This is a more leisurely hike then some we've done recently, but we enjoyed it. You can take it easy or increase the challenge, if you wish. It is close by and does not require a long or tedious drive to reach the trailhead. if in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, We think you might enjoy it.

West Park Loop Trail

Thanks for stopping it by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!

Friday, February 27, 2015

THE BOYS OF SUMMER…THE CLEVELAND INDIANS

Thursday, February 26 – Although the Cleveland Indians and the Spring Training Cactus League don't begin games until Tuesday, March 3, we decided to head to the baseball field in Goodyear, Arizona, to enjoy the team at practice. Man did we have a good time!

Cleveland Indians spring training

We started our visit at the Stadium where the games are held.

Cleveland Indians spring training

We were here three years ago; it seems like yesterday. We walked briefly around the stadium for some necessary photo opts.

Cleveland Indians spring training

We then stopped in the team store to check-out the “Spring Training” t-shirts. Yep, we each got one!

Cleveland Indians spring training

The Indians practice down the road from the stadium with the team spread out on seven different fields. The public has access to four of these fields.

The fields are awesome!
Cleveland Indians spring training

The players walk down the sidewalk to the fields to give fans opportunities to take pictures and shout out words of encouragement. It always surprises us how different many of the players look in person. On TV they appear bigger in some cases and smaller in others.

Nick Swisher and Ryan Rayburn
Cleveland Indians spring training

Michael Brantley. Marsha thinks he is just so cute and an excellent ball player!
Cleveland Indians spring training

We are both Indians fans but Marsha takes it one or two steps further than Paul. She's crazy about them! She took numerous pictures and even got a picture with the former manager Mike Hargrove (1991–99). He led the Indians to five consecutive AL Central Division titles in 1995–99, and World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997.. Marsha says to the ladies…He is so handsome close up!

Mike Hardgrove

Later during practice, Hargrove was hitting balls and tossed one to Marsha remembering her from the photo opt. Does Paul have something to worry about here? Ha ha!!

Marsha and Indians ball

We were a little surprised to see Terry Francona, the manager, actually hitting the ball to the players during infield practice. WOW! Thought those top guys only did the managing....LOL

Tito Francona

We watched the team practice for quite awhile. We saw some infield drills, pitching practice and then finished up the morning with batting practice. What beautiful swings these professional players have. Amazing!

Kyle Crockett did an outstanding job for the Indians last year.DSC01105

Jason Kipnis had his ups and downs last year. Hope there are more
ups than down this year.
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Carlos Santana looks like he has slimmed down quite a bit.
Carlos Santana

Our catcher, Yan Gomes, had an outstanding 2014 season.
Yan Gomes

After a couple hours the team began moving toward the indoor facilities so we called it a day and headed home. It was a fun and interesting day. Next week the games begin, and we have plans to attend at least three games. Go Tribe!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!