Baseball was always more than just a game to me. It’s part of American culture and ingrained in my blood. Since I was a kid playing Little League, I always looked forward to the first day I could get out and throw a ball around. Now that my skills (or lack of) don’t allow me to play anymore, the next best thing is Spring Training.

Recently, my son and I headed down to Florida to catch a couple of games. I felt like a kid again and had the wonderful opportunity to share these experiences with my son. For baseball fans, there’s nothing like the first smell of cut grass on the field mixed with the sounds of game, plus sitting in the 80-degree sunshine with shorts and a t-shirt while friends back home are still freezing, to bring back all the special memories.

Even though Spring Training games are basically meaningless and the worst teams usually end up with the best records, every spring brings extreme optimism for all fans, new hope that this could be the year for your team. It’s always fun to watch the position battles and see who makes the cut and getting to see the high potential young talent is a true treat. This spring, my son and I got the opportunity to see some really great young talent that could be the future superstars of the game. I sincerely hope that my son will one day say to his kids like I have, “I remember when a certain hall of famer was just a kid and I could see he was going to be one hell of a player.”

Yes, I truly love Spring Training – but not as much as Opening Day, which to me should be a national holiday.

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