This time of year is one of my favorites. While the fall and more specifically Halloween will always have that top spot, this time of year takes a close second. It may still be cold here and at the moment there are still some patches of snow, but in warmer states baseball is finally be played after a long hiatus for fans.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a baseball fan. It has always been a fan of the game first and then my team right after that. Sorry, but my team is not the Phillies. Anyone that has seen me out and about will problem see me supporting my team in some way based on how full my closet is of various shirts in my teamís colors and other merchandise.
There is just something special and exciting about the beginning of baseball season. Spring Training is when fans have the chance to see what their team can be in the future and see their favorites back on the field. Itís also a time where the losses do not matter as much and you can still be optimistic about the upcoming season. Obviously, the same cannot be said for August or September games.
And there is the whole ďabsence makes the heart grow fonderĒ part of Spring Training. Depending on how far your teams goes each season (or when you know itís done even if you watch those last few games) there is a good amount of time with no baseball to watch or overly check while youíre out and about. Though I consider myself to be an all-around sports lover, the other sports just donít get to me the same way that baseball does. Itís the great American pastime after all.
I may be a huge baseball fan, but it was not until I was in high school that I had a chance to see my MLB team play live. It was one game while they were away in Philadelphia and my best friend bought us tickets on a bus trip to go see my team play at their home field. What an experience that was. Those are some of my favorite memories. Throughout the years I have been to quite a few Iron Pigs games, but the MLB games are a whole other experience.
I was lucky enough that my team played the Arizona Diamondbacks during a time while I was still in Tucson, Arizona before summer break. Now that was an odd experience. Never had I been inside, in air conditioning during a live baseball game. That was also the only game that I saw my team live that they lost, though they did take that serious winning the game before and after the one I attended. My last baseball game that I saw my team at was in 2008. Now that is a day I will never forget and I have more than enough pictures to make that impossible.
So while I sit and day dream about the start of the season, I can tune in and see some of what to expect this and of what is to come during Spring Training. At this point, I am set for three games this season with two at home and one away in Philadelphia. Itís even better with the company that I will have. Hopefully you also have a chance to experience the same exuberance I feel with Spring Training, or at least with one of your own passions.
Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @Item_Editor.