Brewers Spring Training: Beyond the Game from Hohokam Park
After defeating the Angels 4-3 in Cactus League play on Saturday, the Brewers are back at it today against the Chicago Cubs at Hohokam Park in Mesa, AZ. Several thousand fans are on hand on an overcast, but warm afternoon. The Cubs routinely draw 4,500-6,500 fans for spring training games, and its not out of the ordinary for attendance to exceed 10,000. That's pretty impressive for cactus league ball.
Hohokam is 410 to dead center with a giant green wall that allows the batter to pick up the ball out of the pitcher's hand. Down the line in right its 350, and its 340 down the line in left.
Most interesting to me (aside of the Mexican fiesta media lunch) was the decor in the men's bathroom adjacent to the media dining room.
As I was...um...doing my business...I looked up to notice an average sized, worn out jock strap connected to cheap wooden plaque. At first I thought it the undergarment was bronzed. Unfortunately, it was not. Nope - this sucker hasn't been washed in...well, ever I presume.
Disturbed, I completed my business and went to dry my hands after washing. As I pulled a fresh piece of paper towel from the dispenser, my eyes were treated to a special tribute to Bob Uecker. On the wall is a nicely framed picture of Uecker from his days as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Spring training has a unique minor league feel to it. Everything from the size of the stadiums to the $7 parking on grass just outside the concourse, to the decor in the bathrooms.
Concessions (which includes Cracker Jacks) are relatively inexpensive, a couple thousand fans have created their own seating arrangements on blankets just beyond the outfield fence, and there is certainly nothing jumbo about the jumbotron. Tailgaters set up shop in the grass parking lot before the game, a 4-year-old kid threw out the first pitch, and their is no club level, upper deck or luxury boxes. THIS is baseball, and I'm grateful to be here.
I'll have much more from spring training all of next week. Rest assured, talk of the bathroom decor will not dominate my blogs. But I will do my best to provide readers with information that goes beyond the game and box score. I hope you enjoy it.