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AFL Trip - Nov, 2008

Sat, 11/8 - Travel to Phoenix - Mesa Game
Sun, 11/9 - Visit w/Radhi and Jim
Mon, 11/10 - Peoria Game
Tues, 11/11 - Surprise-Phoenix Games
Wed, 11/12 - Mesa - Scottsdale Games
Thurs, 11/13 - Phoenix - Peoria Games
Fri, 11/14 - Phoenix - Scottsdale Games
Sat, 11/15 - Surprise - Mesa Games
Sun, 11/16 - Travel Home / Trip Summary

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Wednesday brought me back to Hohokam Park (Mesa) in the afternoon as well as my first visit to Scottsdale Stadium in the evening.

Here's yours truly next to the Hohokam Park sign.

I'm sporting my #5 Matt Holliday Rockies t-shirt. I learned at this game Matt had been traded to the Oakland Athletics.

I guess that t-shirt is a keepsake now.

Jim and Radhi joined me for this game. Here we are sitting on the 3rd base side.

The Rafters lost this one big time to the Desert Dogs 16 - 4. Some players to look out for in the future:

Tommy Hanson: pitcher for the Solar Sox (from the ATL organization) - 9 strike outs in 5 innings this game.

Tyler Flowers: catcher for the Solar Sox (from the ATL organization) - 3 home runs; 5 RBI's this game.

Casper Wells: (from the DET organization) - 2 home runs this game.

Some action at first base.

This is Casper Wells - DET organization. Attendance at this game = 351.

This Wednesday evening I visited the Scottsdale Stadium for the first time. I watched the continuation of a previously suspended game between the Desert Dogs and the Scorpions. And a new game.

Here's the entrance to Scottsdale Stadium. The park was located in the downtown area of Scottsdale and was beautifully landscaped and designed. It had posters of gloves worn by many famous players.

Here's me by one of the balls. Don took this photo for me. I met many great folks at this game. Don was a recently retired gentleman who was a bit bored with retirement.

I met up with him at several other games I saw on this trip.

I met several other 'baseball folks' at this stadium. More on that later. One of the many nice things about the AFL, is you get to meet individuals who just like the game of baseball. Yeah, most of them have a favorite team but it's the sport they like. The AFL is one of Arizona's best kept secrets. Folks are not here to see the famous players (like spring training), but are here to see the game.

Don had been involved with the media and other sports interests. I wish I had gotten his email and more than the name Don. But I guess that's how vacations go. You meet some folks that make that day a special one. Some you keep in touch with; others are a treasured memory of your vacation.

As mentioned previously, the first part of this evening I saw the remainder of a game played earlier on in the week. It appears, the lights go out at Scottsdale Stadium at 11 pm. So that game needed to be continued this evening.

I do not remember who won that suspended game (if anyone did). I believe it ended up a tie. The AFL has a rule: If a game reaches the 11th inning and the score is tied; then that game is suspended and will not be continued. This is done for the safety and continued health of the pitchers and players. The players' individual stats count, but the game does not. Hope I explained that rule accurately.

Being a lover of maps, I couldn't pass up this photo. You can see here this stadium also has several practice fields for the players. This stadium is the host of the SF Giants spring training activities.

Here are Barbara and me. Barbara is the only other woman I've met who travels alone visiting baseball stadiums. She's been to all MLB parks.

I MUST remember to bring sun lotion when I visit AZ in the future.

I also met a fellow by the name of Jim Jones and his buddy Doug (no photo). He, too, visits baseball parks and he writes books about it. His focus is the fans he meets at the games he attends. His site is: Ballparks Across America

This second game was also suspended at the end of 11 innings with a 5 - 5 tie.

Another player to look out for in the future is Mike McKenry - catcher for COL.

Here's the field. It was the only AFL stadium that painted the logo of the team behind home plate. In this case, the Scorpions.

You really don't see this too much anymore. The small scoreboard above the first base side, has dots denoting the balls, strikes, and outs.

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