Results tagged ‘ Surprise ’

A FOND FAREWELL TO SUNNY SURPRISE

The Royals played a club-record 34 Spring Training games in Arizona (a record 36 total, with two final exhibitions in Texas.
 
Spring Training is a great time of year…and a great place for fans to see their team coming together…
 
Some final images from Year Seven for the Royals in Sunny Surprise:

Fans at Surprise Ballpark.jpg

 

Of course watching the Royals play in Spring Training means getting a head start on all the ballpark “eats,” and of course the weather is always perfect!  Having seen all ten Cactus League ballparks, I can tell you that Surprise Stadium is the best there is!Ali.jpg
The biggest thrill of Royals Spring Training ’09 was the arrival, by golf cart, of former heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali when the Dodgers visited the Royals on March 20th.  The largest crowd of the spring assembled that evening, 10,929.  And as a bonus, not only was “The Greatest,” Ali, sitting in the front row by the Royals dugout, but “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, was sitting right behind him.  Gretzky coaches the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes.

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Ballpark delicacies.  Always an important part of enjoying baseball, whether it’s Spring Training or regular season…
 

 

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ATTENTION MOMS AND DADS…I didn’t fact-check this sign….but thought it was interesting.  Hmmm…I wonder if they have sugar-free cotton candy?  (or if anyone cares?)
 
Steve's Son.jpg

My son, John, on the grass berm in the outfield at Tucson Electric Park.  It’s the spring home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a 2 and a half hour drive from Surprise (and the rampant rumors are…they’re moving to the Phoenix area, along with Colorado, by 2011!   That means 15 Major League teams ALL within about an hour of each other!!)  For the record, he wound up with 3 baseballs during batting practice that day. 

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I had somewhere between 17 and 20 relatives visit during Spring Training (I keep trying to count and the number comes up different every time…) Seen here: my dad Layton, mother Marilyn, Aunt Maureen (of Mission, KS), Aunt Marjorie and my son John.  I couldn’t fit them all in our radio booth!Margaret and John.jpg
 

 

 

 

This picture had to make the cut…my niece Margaret (soon-to-be-3) and John.  She always steals the show.
 

Denny and Ryan in Prod.jpg

 

 

Here are Denny and Ryan in a “production meeting.”  Actually it was dinnertime at the Royals offices and the pizza was free of charge!
 

 

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When Bob Davis and I travel to (and from) Tucson this is THE place to stop.  The “world famous” Picacho Peak Dairy Queen.  It’s about the only place to stop on the 2-hour drive between Phoenix and Tucson.  Unfortunately (or fortunately if you’re a KU fan), Bob missed both trips to Tucson this spring (basketball season lasted well into Spring Training), which meant no Picacho Peak DQ for Bob…oh well…there’s always next year!
 
 


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Here are Chris Gough and Brad Porter of Metro Sports in Kansas City.  Metro was in Surprise from beginning-to-end in Surprise.  After this picture, these two “stars” had the “opportunity” to drive this satellite truck and an SUV all the way back to KC!  That’s AZ, NM, TX, OK, KS and MO….22 hours!!Loading the Truck.jpg
 

 

 

Sad sight, happy sight.  You hate to leave 83-degree weather, BUT…the season is finally here!
 

 

 

 Until next year…so long Surprise!Truck and Complex.jpg

Surprise Party

Well maybe not a party, but when a new baseball season beckons, we all have a reason to celebrate.  This is Year 2 of my blog, which will let you see the 2009 Royals season through my eyes (or my cameras lense anyway).
 
Of course it all begins with Spring Training.  This is the seventh year the Royals and Texas Rangers have shared the City of Surprise Sports Complex.  It’s really a beautiful facility…still looks brand new. 
 
The 2009 exhibition season includes a club-record 36 exhibition games. You can follow the Royals throughout the Cactus League season on the Royals Radio Network (20 games) and/or Royals.com (all the games).  Some of you reading this will make your way to Surprise in the coming weeks.  For you, a preview of what you’ll see.  For those of you who won’t make it this year, I’ll try to show you what you’re missing.
 
Of course all the work down here is geared toward getting the team  (and its minor league affiliates) ready for Opening Day.  The Royals open the season in Chicago April 6th.  The new “K” opens April 10th with the home opener versus the Yankees! (and before you ask, no, I don’t have any tickets!).

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE

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This is the view of the big league stadium, Surprise Stadium, from the broadcast level.  To say “it’s a beautiful day for baseball” down here is pretty unoriginal.  But it’s almost always true.
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Royals fans commemorating their visit.  This is down the left field line, in front of the building that houses the Royals front office as well as the Major League and Minor League clubhouses.Batting Cages.jpg 

 

New this year adorning the side of the indoor batting cages, portraits of Royals Hall of Famers in alphabetical order.  The mural replaces the old sign that listed just the names.  A nice touch, designed by Dayton Moore to instill organizational pride in current and future Kansas City Royals.
 
Brett BP.jpg

 

Speaking of Hall of Famers, George Brett is one of many Royals legends in uniform working with players every day down here.  He throws batting practice every day.
 
 
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Along with hitting drills in batting cages on the various practice fields, Royals hitters are doing a lot of work on their bunting.  Here, new coach Eddy Rodriguez works with Willie Bloomquist on his bunting technique.  It’s one area in which the Royals hope to see a big improvement.
 
Soria stretching.jpgBefore he left for the World Baseball Classic, to represent Mexico, All Star Joakim Soria stretches on the conditioning field at the Royals complex.  He does this before running wind sprints. The conditioning field looks like a shorter version of a football field, with yard lines to measure distances.  The good news is, no one’s trying to tackle you while you run!

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