|Baseball...One Woman's Perspective: Meeting the Players||| Print |||Send|
Written by April Addington (Contact & Archive) on May 10, 2003
The season is fully underway and so far in my viewing exploits I have seen a lot of excitement, injury, rage, and fury - along with a mixture of other emotions. I have seen the amazing, with Tim Salmon's current hitting streak, to the downright ugly, with the recent bench-clearing brawl of the Diamondbacks and Cardinals. There are a few teams slumping but the season is still fresh and early so anything is possible.
I mentioned in my first article that I would speak of players I have met throughout the seasons. One of the players that I have discovered is a talent that the Boston Red Sox let go, Angels’ shortstop David Eckstein. Eckstein is amazing to watch, from his on-deck circle ritual before each at bat, to his hustle all over the field. I had the distinct honor of meeting David this year during Spring Training, and I was very impressed with him. He is very humble and so polite. If you were to look up the word 'gentleman', in a dictionary, you'd be likely to see the words 'See David Eckstein'. He is a true gamer in every sense and it's not often you find someone with his strong work ethic. He has been a very big inspiration to me. He has taught me something very important and that is his motto: "Never give up". He fully lives by that motto. My dream has always been to be a baseball journalist and I will strive to achieve my goals and dreams. If you've ever seen David Eckstein, you know that he is small in stature and appearance, but, as I have found out, he is very big in heart and soul.
Another player I met during Spring Training is recently recalled Rockies’ first baseman, Mark Sweeney. Like David Eckstein, Sweeney is a gamer and goes all out when he plays. He started the season with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies' AAA team) but due to an injury Chris Richard suffered, Mark got his chance to show the Rockies what he has to bring to the table. Mark is very outgoing and friendly with an awesome personality and disposition. I enjoyed talking to him before and after Rockies games and I wish him the very best with the Rockies.
If ever there was a Nicest Guy In Baseball Award, it should be presented to Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez. Every time I have been around Gonzo, he has always had his trademark smile and his go-get-'em personality. It takes a lot to make that smile fade. Luis is a definite fan favorite here in Arizona and the fans would be heartbroken if he were to leave.
Along with Spring Training games, Fan Photo Day is a great opportunity to get close to your favorite players in baseball as well as getting your own personal souvenir from and with them. I have attended one Diamondbacks Fan Photo Day and three Rockies Fan Photo Days so far and I wouldn't trade these days for anything.
My friends and I attended the Fan Photo Day at Bank One Ballpark recently and I was so caught up in the moments of being there. We had our pictures taken with many players and got to catch up on things with friends of ours on the team. We all had a great time, despite the loss for the Diamondbacks against the Braves.
Here is some advice for you if you do plan to attend these events:
1. Leave your house extra early because you never know until you get there just how many people will be camped out, waiting for the gates to open.
2. Take extra rolls of film, batteries, and disposable cameras in case of any camera breakdowns or defects that can occur unexpectedly.
3. If you go in a group, stay with your people at all times in case something happens.
4. When you get onto the field and find your spot, stay there. The players usually make their rounds on the field and if you dare go away from your spot, others will crowd in and you lose your chances of getting pictures with your favorites. It tends to get really crowded and people often get pushy, rude, and you can get hurt sometimes.
There you have it, some good advice from an experienced Fan Photo Day veteran. If you do attend these events have fun and smile big. The players love it when you show your friendliness and have fun. Always say "Please" and "Thank you" to each one as well, just as if you were asking them for an autograph. They really appreciate good manners.
I will feature more players that I've met in my next articles, so keep on the lookout.