Kansas City Royals: You should go to spring training

Spring Training is getting closer, and the Kansas City Royals will hit the diamond once again.

If you love baseball, warm weather, sunshine, and good food, you need to go to spring training. Want to see which of the prospects are any good? You should go. There is nothing like being in Arizona and seeing them for yourself.  If you can’t this year, start planning for next year.  It’s something all Kansas City Royals fans should do at least once.

I have been traveling off and on to Arizona for 50 years and have gone to spring training three times now. I was hoping to do so again this year. However, those plans fell through and I will be holding on here in the cold. For those thinking or going for the first time, let me share some advice.

Go early. Be there at least three hours early if you want to see warm ups and get close to players. If you are staying in Surprise, Peoria, Sun City or the surrounding area, getting there is quick and easy. It shouldn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes to get to the park. If you are staying in Scottsdale, Tempe, or Mesa, give yourself 40 to 60 minutes depending on traffic and time of day. Don’t forget to add time for parking, walking, buying and picking up tickets; the parking lots are big.

The Surprise stadium complex is a wonderful place to watch a game. The practice fields are next to the stadium and a quick walk away.  A variety of food and drinks are available inside along each side inside the stadium. If you buy seats, there are areas covered and not covered from the sun. Make your choice wisely, or you will end up standing behind the seats in the shade if you need it.

The Royals share the complex with the Rangers. On days they don’t play there, they play at the many other stadiums around Phoenix. The area around Surprise is quiet in the evenings and restaurants close early. If you stay further east like Scottsdale, Tempe, or Mesa, there is more to do and easy access to more stadiums on that side of town. It’s fun following the team around the city.

For the first two weeks or so, the regulars will play the early two or three innings. Then, the players from the farm take over. Its really the best time to see the prospects. By the end of spring training, the regulars are playing the bulk of the game. Split games are another way to see mostly prospects. Two or three regulars will join them, but the rest of the lineups are usually players destined for the minors.

Most days are warm and sunny, but some days can be 50 degrees or less. More so early on. For the evening games the temperature can drop fast after sunset so wear warm clothes and take a coat.

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For those making the trek to Arizona to support the Kansas City Royals, I hope that helps. I wish I could be there. I can’t think of anything more appealing right now than kicking back in the sun for nine innings of my favorite sport. Play Ball!