Major League Baseball Spring Training is set to begin shortly! The Grapefruit and Cactus leagues are almost prepared for welcoming the highly paid swingers of sticks. The new year heralds the onset of the hope and possibility season. Solidly connecting bat with ball just one time in three tries can get a 19 year old kid from the back waters of Alabama a multi-million dollar contract.
People who can play baseball are usually rewarded with a great deal of money. People who watch are charged a great deal of money. Fans love to interact with players and frequently fantasize about being on the other side of the fence. Instead of paying $7.50 for a cup of flat, warm Budweiser, they dream of having an icy cold one brought to them in the locker room after a win.
Baseball has developed a remarkable scheme to make these fantasies at least a partial reality. Being a pudgy forty six year old no longer presents a barrier to living out one’s dream of being on a major league team – if even for a week or ten days. This only costs a couple thousand dollars. The middle aged pay 8 Ball Pool Hack APK to play scheme brings in countless poor souls trying to rekindle their youth. Remembering the play that won the big game in high school has these guys trying to find that same kind of ‘high’ thirty years later.
Team camaraderie from those years is also a fond memory. Being young is a better memory. So after many years of slaving away in the business world and earning decent income has many looking to mid-January for the chance to escape the cold weather as well as escape middle age. Baseball fantasy camp offers an opportunity to don a real uniform -name and all – of one’s favorite team, be guided by the real team coaches and players and to once again, take a place on the field. Several major league teams offer these camps prior to the real spring training. It is a tremendous opportunity to part the zealous fan from several thousand of his dollars.
The Seattle Mariners offer a fantasy camp at their spring facility in Arizona. Interestingly, the team invites all over 30 years old – even if the participant has no experience. It then offers that same participant the chance to take on real pros in a game situation. This includes an opportunity to face a major league pitcher. This sounds like a classic sucker-punch. Allowing an inexperienced player to stand in the batter’s box with no idea what to do while a seasoned pro rockets a ball by his snooter is a recipe for disaster – or at least significant embarrassment. If the pitching pro starts daydreaming about the tank topped blonde in the third row, the middle aged hitter gets plinked off the knee cap. And after a long Midwestern winter it is difficult not to pay attention to the tank top instead of the catcher’s mitt. In either case there is not a snowball’s chance in Tucson for this poor, not quite senior citizen, to meet ball with bat.
Bats and mitts are only a couple of the accoutrement required by camp participants. Included in the fee for most of these things, one receives an official team uniform including name stitched on the back. The participant picks up his uniform at a pre-assigned, reserved cubicle in the real team locker room. This isn’t like having a reserved seat on the flight to Phoenix. This is a reserved cube that in a week or two will be used by guys who get paid to play the game. This is all very cool for the forty six year old trying to remember what it felt like to run the bases without coughing and hacking. But where else would a fan wear his new uniform ? He can show it off, but he probably won’t be wearing it to the family reunion in July.
Uniforms of course allow fans to easily distinguish one team from another. This brings up one of the more interesting things about fantasy camp in that participants actually attempt to play the game. Granted, some of these guys, even after several years selling paint in Minneapolis, are decent athletes. Some have kept their skills intact with frequent trips to the batting cages and playing in city leagues. The problems arise when the ones that have been short selling stocks from an office building in downtown Chicago think they can still compete.