Spring Training

We all know about intensive off-sites for work.

Where you are spirited away from the daily grind and freed to think about everything in new ways.  

We do the same thing on a much more personal level.

From a trip alone with our partner to last week having 72 hours alone with my ten year old son Jackson at spring training in Scottsdale.

On the first day with the game starting at 1:10, I asked Jackson when he wanted to get to the ball field, he said, "No later than 8AM!"

2bfe248e-272a-4fa6-b537-3471bcbdb139.jpg

Before we even got out of the parking area at Salt River Fields, a ball sailed over the fence into Jackson's glove from hitting practice.

69719c80-921e-455e-bd6f-1772dcab448a.jpg

We get into the ball park - first row on the first base line - perfect for autographs.

Jackson joined the long row of kids holding out their pens and baseballs.

“PLEASE! Nolan! Charlie! Trevor! DJ! PLEASE!!!”

2c230e8f-eb82-4ff9-9017-e91e92e54397.jpg

There were no players signing autographs where Jackson was standing and yelling out, but he was patient....and relentless.

“PLEASE! PLEASE!”

The whole section was onto Jackson. He is infectious at a game. People on all sides were asking me about him.

“How old is he?”
“Does he play baseball?”
“How many balls has he gotten??”


At one point he started giving baseballs to other kids.

d6e78a4c-daea-40e6-a42f-5d5b045370ee.jpg

Then in the 7th inning, Charlie Blackmon was leaving the game. He is one of the great sluggers in the game today. As he was walking up the first base line to the locker room, he passes Jackson who yells out -

“CHARLIE PLEASE!”

Our entire section is chiming in with him, “Give Jackson an autograph Charlie!”

Charlie looks over, looks at his broken bat and walks over to hand it to Jackson.
 

b0bf129e-2f5f-42ac-87a8-df0b7a10d525.jpg

The whole section went crazy. Some wanted to photograph the bat. Everyone was so into the whole gesture. Charlie walked off leaving the wake of a very happy young fan getting pine tar onto his hands.

While the pictures are ultimately the artifacts of our experience, it is always the journey rather than destination. It is all the things we never imagined - that unfold into dreams coming true.

20cfcc81-ee13-4288-864f-370683d08707.jpg

George