Our youngest grandson, Tanner, is VERY active in youth sports and finding a break in his schedules to go RVing with Grandpa and Grandma has been almost impossible.
A couple of years ago we took his older brother on a one-way RV trip from Sacramento to Seattle for a couple of weeks. [See our blog: Travels with Taylor] After seeing the sights, we put him on an airplane and flew him home.
Tanner, however, wanted his solo RV trip to be to SF Giants Spring Training in Scottsdale, but he was not anxious to fly by himself. So, after much calendar coordination, we figured out his dad Troy could fly with him from San Jose, CA to Phoenix on a Wednesday after school, miss classes on Thursday and a minimum half-day on Friday (he is a Straight-A student so no problem), and fly home Friday night to be ready for their Senior Little League game on Saturday. Dad is his LL coach and also an avid baseball fan.
My job was now to find games to fit the schedule.
The Giants spring training home is in Scottsdale, on the east side of Phoenix. On the dates the boys would be here there was only one “home” game and that was on Friday afternoon. Okay, Game One scheduled: Colorado Rockies vs. SF Giants.
On Thursday, however, the Giants would be playing a night
away game against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium, just six miles from our RV park. Game Two scheduled.
That left room for an afternoon game on Thursday. Troy, a life-long LA Dodger fan, asked if there was a way we could go to Camelback Ranch Stadium to see a Dodger’s game. Since the stadium is on the west side of the valley, I was able to secure tickets for a Cincinnati Reds – Dodgers match-up. Game Three scheduled.
Thursday’s west-side double-header also gave us enough time between the games to return to the rig to take care of our dog Star. Keeping our canine kid happy is an important priority when traveling with a pet.
The driving time back to the motorhome also provided our weary gamer boy time for a quick nap. He was ready to go again for the evening game at Surprise Stadium.
GOAL: GETTING BALLS & AUTOGRAPHS
Tanner is “experienced” at getting a game ball (either a foul ball or a tossed ball at the end of an inning) and to get player autographs. Last year he managed to get Giants’ Right Fielder Hunter Pence’s autograph while the pre-game TV camera was on him. I happened to record that game and was able to share this photo with him.
Tanner had a strategy and he came prepared. He brought along the orange and black feather Mohawk wig that I bought him as a souvenir during the Balloon Fiesta last year. He didn’t wear it during the Dodgers game (for obvious reasons), but did wear it as he hung on the railings before and after each Giants game. It was hard to miss him!
Tanner’s hometown hero, Brandon Crawford, tosses balls to the fans at the end of pre-game warm-ups.
NO FOUL BALLS
For Christmas my family gave ME a baseball glove so I could hopefully snag a foul ball during a Giants game some day. While I sat prepared for three games, none came my way. Well, there was one “tossed” ball that came directly to where I had been sitting – but I was in a food line getting dinner. The guy in front of me got it. That will teach me! Another tossed ball came in the direction of Tanner and the man in front of him “stole” it out of Tan’s glove. All the fans around booed him and he quickly turned and handed it back to Tanner. Smiles all around.
Our final game of our two-day, triple-header was in Scottsdale. While we sat right behind the dugouts at Camelback and Surprise Stadiums, our seats at Scottsdale Stadium were the worst. While we were still close to the first base line, we were on the third level which made it difficult for Tanner to run down to the railing between innings when the home team tosses the balls into the stands. After the game, however, Tanner got one more signature and that made his day.
We had promised to buy Tanner a new Giants jersey when we visited the Stadium Dugout Store. He has outgrown his child-size Buster Posey jersey and he wanted a Brandon Crawford one. (Crawford is from Pleasanton, CA where Tanner lives.) I tried at Christmas but selection is nearly non-existent until baseball season. Would you believe the Dugout Store did not have ANY player jerseys! Everything was either Spring Training oriented or summer tank tops or t-shirts. Tanner got a Cactus League shirt and will go online to order the shirt he wants.
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE…
Following the Giants win over the Rockies it was time to head for Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport. If you have heard stories about the horrendous traffic in Phoenix you can believe it. While the Treto boys didn’t fly back to San Jose until 8 pm, there was not enough time to drive back to our motorhome in Surprise and then back across town to the airport. We opted to take them directly to the airport and try to avoid the commute traffic on a Friday afternoon. They got there without trouble and it took us over an hour to get home.
Next year we will stay on the east side of Phoenix to lessen the time stuck in traffic. Maybe the whole family will spend their timeshare week in Scottsdale and we can mix baseball with more family time.
NEXT: LIFE IN HAPPY TRAILS