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.