December 2013

The Rockies Bring Dawn Back to Illinois

This week’s post/entry comes from another Rockies Fantasy Camp Rookie. Dawn Hoover, with the inspiration from Stephanie’s post, chimed in on her excitement for February 5. To those who will be in camp with Dawn, you’re going to be sharing the field with the Rockies Season Ticket holder version of Cal Ripken Jr.

Hi Everyone!  While I’m making Christmas cookies and wrapping presents, there is a piece of me that is looking ahead to February. Now, that’s not particularly new for me as February’s start of Spring Training means that baseball season is just around the corner. It’s something to be celebrated in my house annually. This time though, there’s a different anticipation because I’m going to spend a week as a baseball player in my own right. Fantasy Camp has been sitting on my “want to do list” for a few years, and this year seemed as good as any. In fact, when starting to reconsider over the summer, friends made sure to remind me that I’ve worked hard for this and are not getting any younger.  (Thanks y’all…you know who you are)

Growing up in Illinois, I spent a good part of my childhood sitting on a tractor with my grandpa or my dad, listening to Cubs games, since Wrigley didn’t have lights yet then. Names like Ray Burris, Greg Maddux, Ryne Sandberg, Jody Davis, and Bill Buckner, all felt like friends as I’d spend time crossing my fingers and hoping they had a great game. Grandpa taught me to play catch by having me throw a ball up to the roof and catch it when it rolled back down. Whatever hitting I learned was with a wiffle-ball bat in the yard while Grandma made dinner. Years later, the love I had for the game as a child grew again when I introduced my son to the game after we moved here to Denver and fell in love with the Rockies. He played a little, watched a lot, and after he didn’t want his mom around so much anymore, I went to baseball games. The peace the ballpark provides before a game, the sense of history every time the players step on to the field, the smell of hot dogs, the crack of a bat, it all makes me feel at home.  So it was time to stop only absorbing it all, but to dive in and live it.

My son finished school this summer, my health and my work are decent (thank you to my boss for all of the tolerance of my baseball passion), and the last home game of the 2013 season was my 365th consecutive home game attended. All of those seemed to be cause to celebrate. Additionally,  I was blessed with the opportunity to throw out a first pitch this summer which should have gone better (entirely my fault, the Rockies personnel was amazing as always), and in 2012 the Rockies treated me to a pie in the face for one of their commercials featuring season ticket holders. With this kind of a track record as a fan, the possibilities for Fantasy Camp are wide open. All I know is, I’m enjoying the friends I’m starting to make already, and can’t wait to find that sanctuary within the park again.  This time, it’s just with a different view.

Until next time, have a fun and safe holiday season.

Go Rockies!

Gearing Up for Fantasy Camp 2014!

Hey everyone! We’ve awoken from our nearly year-long hibernation and since Fantasy Camp is about six weeks away, we thought we should get this thing up and running. This will be the 17th year of the Colorado Rockies Fantasy Camp and we’re excited to bring it back to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona from February 5-9. It’s going to be epic.

About two weeks ago, we had some of the campers down to Coors Field for a little gathering. During the shindig, they had the opportunity to take some winter batting practice in the underground cages and got to enjoy some hors d’oeuvres inside the Rockies clubhouse while talking to and meeting some of their fellow campers. The campers consisted of veterans and rookies, just like a Major League club.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ve asked four campers (two veterans and two rookies) to contribute to this space with why they are doing fantasy camp or why they keep coming back, what they look forward to the most and maybe a good story or two from a previous camp. We’ll kick it off with an inspirational Fantasy Camp Rookie, Stephanie Sheldon, who is a huge Rockies fan and has a great story she so graciously shared with us. Oh yeah, give her a follow on Twitter (@rockiescutie08) as she’s aspiring to be a sports writer someday. After reading this entry, she’s headed in the right direction…

Greetings from Golden, CO! My name is Stephanie and I’m a rookie with camp but a veteran with dedication to the organization. I’ve been a die-hard baseball fan my entire life and specifically a Rockies fan since 1991 when word came that Colorado was getting a professional baseball team.

My whole life revolves around baseball. I just graduated from baseball scouting school and I’m an aspiring sports writer/broadcaster/reporter. My dream job would be anything involved with the Rockies organization. I am in the beginning stages of starting a baseball blog which will focus on the Rockies. I love watching baseball but I love playing it as well.

Growing up, I aspired to become a Silver Bullet (Denver’s Professional Women’s Baseball team). It is unfortunate that Denver doesn’t have that team anymore. I am fortunate enough to come from a baseball family. Whenever we weren’t at Coors Field, baseball could be found on our TV. To this day I never miss any Rockies games throughout season. I joke all the time that I am married to the Rockies because I put them first in my life.

Many years ago while I was in high school, I heard about the fantasy camp while at a game. I remember thinking that my “dreams of becoming a Colorado Rockie” were about to come true, but then I saw that you had to be at least 21 years old. I vowed from that point on that I would save money until my 21st birthday so I could purchase the greatest present ever for myself. However, just after I graduated high school someone close to me got diagnosed with cancer. Time was now spent tendering to this very important special someone, who on a side note was a major Rockies fan as well.  Camp seemed like a dream that would occur years down the road.

In November 2012, this loved one lost their courageous battle with cancer and thus, I am going to camp this year on a gift from that person. It is their last gift to me and I can’t think of anything greater. They are giving me the gift to live out my dream.