Pitchers and catchers. Three magical words that suggest that there will be an end to this long, cold, snowy winter…if you’re a baseball fan that is. The 2014 Major League Baseball season started in earnest this week with the arrival of pitchers and catchers at spring training facilities all over Florida and Arizona. In no time at all, the Cactus League and Grapefruit League will be in full swing and then it’s just a line drive, stolen base and RBI until opening day on Monday, March 31st. As our excitement builds for the start of the season, we know that there are many families out there who are just as excited for the opening day (in a way) of our very own Major League Madness program. Whether you want to live the ultimate baseball fans fantasy trip for 13 days or 21 days this trip will certainly be a benchmark year for fans of the game.
Over the past incarnations of the program, hundreds of boys have seen hundreds of games with highlights that they still talk about. We were there when Cal Ripkin Jr. and Tony Gwynn were inducted to the Hall Of Fame, we’ve seen walk off homeruns (even a walk off steal of home), double plays, triple plays, back to back home runs and so much more. Participants on our programs have thrown out first pitches, got countless autographs and even struck up friendships with the outfielders (seriously: after following the Tampa Bay Rays on a three day swing of the East coast, some of the guys recognized our boys and had a great conversation about what we were doing following them!). Those memories are great. Those memories will live on, but the summer of 2014 is the time in which we’ll make greater memories. We’ll see legends enter the Hall of Fame and watch a legend in the Bronx round the base path for the last time.
2014 is going to be a banner year for Major League Madness and Major League Baseball. Participants this year will be witness to the biggest induction ceremony in over 15 years. Atlanta Braves powerhouse pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are entering the hallowed Hall along with their long time skipper Bobby Cox. The legendary Yankees manager Joe Torre finds his place amongst the legends as well as one of the winningest managers of all time: Tony La Russa. And to round out this all-star class is one of my personal faves, The Big Hurt, Frank Thomas. Attending the ceremony for these legends is surely going to leave an indelible memory on all who attend. But that’s not all for the big events of this stellar year. Along with seeing the legends of the game get their due celebration, our trip is going to bear witness to one of the greatest statements you could hear in the big leagues: Now batting for the Yankees, number 2 Derek Jeter. Number 2. As The Captain plays his last season for the Bronx Bombers we’ll have a chance to have our last goodbyes (some might cheer, some might jeer…) for better, or for worse. And who knows what else we might see? Let’s get our first no hitter on the books, let’s see a rising star make his name and let’s get that first pitch thrown…it’s too cold and we’re ready to play. Put us in coach.
The Westcoast Blogger