By Ian Christopher Beck ’12
Spring has arrived and with it comes Spring Training baseball.
The football gridiron is long gone and so too are the hardwood basketball courts fading from our minds. Moving into the fore are the clean-cut and carefully swept diamonds where baseball players thrive.
Spring Training has begun again with all 15 of the Cactus League teams reporting to camp in late February. Games began on March 3.
But for all the hype, it remains to be seen if Brophy students will join the 1.5 million fans who watched games last spring.
Reactions among students to the return of Spring Training vary from disinterested to engaged.
In a poll on The Roundup website asking readers how they felt about Spring Training, 11 of the 27 responders said they are not interested in attending games.
Nine said they would like to attend more games than they already do and another six said they are happy going to a few games each year.
Matthew Saba ’12 said he finds baseball too boring to justify attending games.
“I haven’t been to one in years,” he said. “I just don’t have that much interest in baseball … it’s boring, not fast enough, not enough stuff happens.”
Junior Nate Moreno ’13 echoed the thought that a lack of baseball fans means a lack of interest in going to games.
However, he said Spring Training was a good opportunity to go out and enjoy yourself without spending a lot of money.
Spencer Lawston ’12 said he frequents the Peoria Sports Complex, home of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, with friends and called Spring Training a good time to just hang out.
“(I) get a few friends together and just go out, get a $5 ticket and go sit on the lawn,” Lawston said.
When asked whether or not he thinks high school students care about Spring Training, he said that no one he’s invited to games has turned him down.
“Everybody I always ask is like ‘sure,’” he said. “I think it’s more for something to do on the weekends.”
Zach Basile ’14, who played baseball for Brophy as a freshman, said despite his love of baseball, he hasn’t been able to attend any Spring Training games, though he does hope to attend some this year.
When asked whether or not he hears students around campus discussing Spring Training, he said he hears most conversations about it coming from fans of the sport.
“Personally, no I do not hear kids talk about attending games because a lot of kids do not respect baseball,” Basile said. “They find it boring and they think that it is just so easy. But I do hear kids who are fans of baseball talk about the games.”
The Cactus League started off in 1947 when the Cleveland Indians and then-New York Giants took root in the Valley of the Sun for Spring Training.
Since then the league has grown to 15 teams and in 2011, an all-time attendance record was set with more than 1.5 million baseball fans packing stadiums all around the state, according to the official Cactus League website.