Saturday, March 9, 2013

Final Arizona Thoughts

I've been home for two days. I have been talking about my trip to family and friends.
My first visit to Phoenix was in 1991. My friend Sergio was going to UTI Tech School down there. I remember Phoenix being a very dirty town. Also very hot. My memories of that trip are fading away. I remember wanting to go to a Phoenix Firebirds game at Phoenix Muni. But the Firebirds were on the road. So we went to a Tucson Toros game. Memories of that game are fading. I googled Willie Banks. He pitched in the game we went to. He was on the roster for the Portland Beavers. So I put together that the Firebirds and Beavers played on a April evening at Hi Corbett Field. I still have the program somewhere in the archives. I remember it was Magnet Schedule Night. I also remember Sergio standing very proud when a military color guard brought out the flag for the national anthem. He enlisted that year and he would begin his service later that year.
The movie Major League was filmed at Hi Corbett. I remember it was a big deal for me to be there.
I don't remember the score or who won. I just remember that night in Tucson for my first Pacific Coast League game.
I Googled the roster for Tucson and I do remember (I had to re-Google what I Googled from a few days ago I forgot who I was talking about!) Kenny Lofton being on the team. I designated him The Most Dangerous Player In The Major Leagues throughout most of his Cleveland Indians days. I'm sure the Astros regret making that trade to get him.
Looking through the roster I saw Curt "Fu€&ing" Schilling on the team. That big mouth bastard. He blows hot air out of his mouth and his a$$hole! (He owes the State of Rhode Island $75million. I LOVE Rhode Island!) Tony Eusibio, Andejar Cedeno, Jim Corsi, Eric Anthony, Ryan Bowen (future Florida Marlin and I worked with one of his cousins), Carl "Tuffy" Rhodes, Dean Wilkins (Baseball America proclaimed him to be one of the best catchers EVER.  Didn't happen. He was supposed to be the next Johnny Bench. He spent more time on benches then behind the plate), Scott Servais, Terry McGriff, Dave Engle (I met him at a Las Vegas 51's game when he was scouting for the Padres. Great guy, great story teller) and Jeff Juden who I read was the real life Jeff Lebowski, dumb as a bag of rocks with a not a care in the world attitude.
Twenty-two years later, ALL those guys are retired from the game, the Toros are long gone (two teams have come to replace them, the Sidewinders and the current Padres), Sergio is a happily married family man living in the bay area, and I'm still single in love with baseball and golf.
I have been home for two days, and I miss walking around Old Scottsdale to dinner. I miss the casual atmosphere at the ballpark. Its all big business starting March 31st.
I thought the Phoenix metro area was a big shithole in the middle of the desert. Now I think its a great vacation spot and I can't wait to go back. Next time I'm taking my golf clubs. I want to see the Diamondbacks (I hate that their called the D-Backs. I think douche bag when I hear that) and the Rockies at Salt Flats, the Cubs, then the Giants and A's again. I underestimated Phoenix and the southwest. Look forward to next time!

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