Seattle Mariners: Spring Training Tips

cswanson
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Daniel Vogelbach #20 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Mike Zunino #3 after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of the spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on March 9, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Daniel Vogelbach #20 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Mike Zunino #3 after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of the spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium on March 9, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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So you’re going to Spring Training? Great! Congrats, you’re in for a great time!  If you’ve never been down to Peoria before, you may be at a loss for where to start. From the best ballpark snacks to meeting players along the way, here are some tips to help you along the way.

First off, if you are attending a game at the Peoria Sports Complex, get there EARLY! The team is usually out on the back fields getting some practice in by 10 A.M. and it is the best to place to see your idols up close and personal. Bring your glove! While the players are taking batting practice you may just end up with your own Spring Training souvenir. You can even bring your dog to the practice fields.

If you are looking to see Felix Hernandez throw a bullpen, make your way over to the mounds near the complex. There is no better place to hear the snap of a catchers glove than being able to watch the Mariners pitchers go through their daily routines under the watchful eye of the coaching staff.

If you are trying to see Jarred Kelenic in action, make your way towards the Minor League camp on the fields further down. From there, you will be able to see the future of Mariners baseball, players that we will not be seeing for the next few years. This may be your best chance to see players like Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, and the rest of the Mariners revamped farm system.

If you’re like me and just want to meet Daniel Vogelbach, find the field he is on and then stand out by the roped off walkway outside. Once the players are done with that particular drill, they will come off the field and head to the next area and if you’re lucky, they’ll stop for a picture and autograph. Best of all, this part of the trip is 100% free! You do not need tickets to go watch the early workouts and it is by far my favorite part of Spring Training. I was lucky enough to meet Brendan Ryan, Michael Saunders, Rick Rizzs, and Casper Wells as well as a few other players at the early workouts.

If autographs are your thing then autograph alley is the place to be. Once inside the ballpark, find your way down the right field line. Head down the stairs and make your way to the blue metal fence. The players have to walk past here to get into the ballpark and a majority of them will stop to sign a ball or two. This is one of the most popular spots to be during Spring Training. Brad Miller signed a ball for me four different times from that very spot before he made his MLB debut.

The Peoria Sports Complex, along with back fields, offers an incredible experience for all ages. Are you the next ace of the Mariners staff? Try your hand at the speed pitch on the concourse. If you’re looking for a different way to watch the game, take a seat out on the berm around the outfield and see if you can catch yourself a Vogelbach home run.

While Peoria is a beautiful park, be sure to catch a game Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The stadium is gorgeous but the food is even better. Everyone loves the garlic fries at Saf… sorry, T-Mobile Park, but the garlic knots from Talking Stick are a close second. Tempe Diablo Stadium, home of the Angels, is another beautiful park, especially the front gate.

The Mariners may not contending for a World Series this year but that doesn’t mean that Spring Training wont be the trip of a lifetime. With players like Kelenic, Evan White, Kyle Lewis, Justus Sheffield, and the rest of the new Mariners crew making their way down to Peoria in the next few weeks, Spring Training in 2019 might be the most fun one in awhile.

I went to Spring Training back when Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager were all top prospects and the hype surrounding camp that year was incredible. This year will be no different, although ideally it will produce much better results than that. Although, Ackley will be back in Peoria this time around so maybe it’s worth digging out that old Ackley player tee.

Spring Training is incredible. It is one of the most fun trips I’ve ever been on. Not only was this a good reason for me to use Daniel Vogelbach in the featured image but hopefully it also helps enhance the experience of first time Spring Training attendees.

If you are going, enjoy Peoria. You’re in for a treat.

Next. These 26 Mariners have been invited to Spring Training. dark

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