One of the things on my "Bucket List" is to help rid the world of people who use the term "Bucket List." I refuse to trivialize my lifelong dreams by referring to a bad Jack Nicholson movie I suffered through on a plane.
Yesterday one of my dreams was fulfilled when I finally attended a spring training baseball game here in Arizona. Of course, my childhood desire has always been to watch the Phillies play in Clearwater, Florida but, as you get older, you realize that wishes occasionally have to be modified.
My dad lives four miles from Surprise Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. Built in 2002, the 10,500 capacity arena is just part of a sprawling athletic complex.
Our seats were perfect... front row down on the right field line. Yes, there was an element of danger whenever a lefty was at bat but it was still the best view I've ever had for a professional ballgame. Only once did I have to jump out of the way of a ball, practically landing on the lap of the woman sitting two seats away.
Being a national league gal, I wasn't completely familiar with many of the players on either the San Francisco Giants or the Texas Rangers, but it didn't matter. I was just there to watch baseball and eat a freakishly big hot dog.
The Rangers entered the field just feet from where we were sitting. Kids would congregate along the rails to get autographs and high fives from their favorite players. All of the Rangers were so nice to the youngsters it almost made me cry.
We snapped a picture of Ranger's star Josh Hamilton as he spent time with his adoring fans. Hamilton was out of baseball from '01-'06 for a drug suspension. His comeback is miraculous and he seems to appreciate the second chance. Not only did he hit 303 last year with 32 homeruns, but he really took his time with the folks in the stands.
It was a glorious day. I can sleep better knowing that there is one less thing I need to do in my lifetime. Or I won't sleep at all thinking I might die now that I can.
Perhaps I should modify my dream to include all of the spring training stadiums. That way I'll have a reason to live!