It’s our last day on the west side of the valley. We got up early this morning and after having breakfast downstairs, we packed up and checked out of our Goodyear hotel. Then we drove over to the Cleveland Indians’ Player Development Complex to watch the morning warm-ups and batting practice.
As in year’s past, Rick Danburg was there to talk to the crowd, give the day’s schedule, and explain the general goings-on (which are always “STC” (subject-to-change)). After watching the players warm up on the field, we headed to the parking lot/outfield to shag fly balls during batting practice. I came up empty this year, but my sister did get one. Then it was time to head over to Goodyear Ballpark for the final game of spring training and final spring battle of Ohio against the Cincinnati Reds.
Since it was the last day, everything dated in the team shop was 50% off so we had to do a little shopping before heading to our seats. It was a little difficult getting into Section 111 as the volunteer usher wanted to check everyone’s tickets (c’mon man, it’s the last game of the season!). After the national anthem, 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Jim Thome was on-hand to throw out the first pitch! The game was incredibly crowded … in fact, it turned out to be a record sellout (for an Indians/Reds game) of 10,311! Once again, our Indians were victorious, beating the Reds 6-4.
After the game, we drove across the valley to Tempe and checked into our next hotel. We cleaned up, got dressed, and then headed to our annual spring training steak dinner at Rustler’s Rooste. Despite having call-ahead seating, we had to wait for an hour to get a table, which was a little disappointing, but (as usual) the view and food made up for the wait. For the first time, my sister and I tried the rattlesnake (and prickly pear cactus fries). The snake actually wasn’t bad but I didn’t care for the fries. With full stomachs, we headed back to the hotel and turned in for the evening. Tomorrow, we hike Camelback.