Sunday, March 13, 2016



Week 3 autograph chasing is getting slim. Red Sox major leaguers all have but vanished, as they practice inside JetBlue Park and is off limits to fans. At the Twins complex there are a few players that sign, but I have already gotten then all at least once. Red Sox minor leaguers are all but willing to sign after practice, I just have to the find the few players I have cards for on five fields full of player all wearing red. The Twins minor leaguers are harder to find, they have not worn uniforms with their name on the back all spring. At least I can still watch practice and chase baseballs. A Twins coach could have been a good guy, but turned out he was not. A minor league player came to the rescue and was my hero of the day. The bad, the ugly and the disappointments of Shady Acres Travel Park in Fort Myers, FL.  


The major league players held practice inside JetBlue Park, that is closed to the public. I walked around looking for the minor league players I wanted to get autographs from. There is no player roster for the minor league so I was walking around the five fields.  With over 200 players and only a handful of them have baseball cards it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

When BP started I was the only person standing in the open area behind the fence in right field. With six left-handed hitters I was thinking there should be a lot of balls coming my way today. The Baseball Gods did not shine down on me as all the hitter had no pull power. The only ball I did get was a foul ball I chased down. However, at the second practice I was once again the only one standing in the outfield fence area and had a 3 ball day. I was watching the main field then from the corner of my eye I saw a foul ball that left the field next to me. I did not have to move, I just put my glove on the ground and the ball rolled right into it. The other two was a foul ball I chased down and a throw over from a minor league player. For the players defense, the wind was blowing in.

When getting an autograph of a minor league player sometimes I start a conversation. This way the player knows that I know something about them and not just trying to sell his autograph later. Trey Ball has grown his hair out this year and I said "I like your hair". He looked up, noticed my hair and said "so do I". Michael Chaves started asking where am I from. I told him "I live in a RV traveling all year chasing baseball games". He told me that's the life. I replied, "you're living the life, you get to play baseball everyday". Looked like he smiled before heading back into the Red Sox clubhouse.

Sunday's practice was inter-squad games. They held live BP for the pitcher not going to play today and got two balls. During the inter-squad games I caught one foul ball and a small boy was just looking at me so I gave it to him. A player came and took the ball away from him. For some reason you can't keep game balls. So I took one of the balls I had from BP and gave it to the little boy. Because fans could not keep the inter-squad game balls I did not count that ball to my totals.

With the MLB team on the road I attended 3 minor league practices. I got 6 baseballs 1 2016 FL Spring Training and 5 MiLB ball.  I gave one ball away. I was able to get  11 autographs. No superstar, but a few 1st round draft picks.


During Monday's practice, there was a ball along the fence line, so I tried to get it. I have a long string tied to my glove so I can use it like a fishing pole. I threw my glove over the fence several times rolling the ball closer and closer to the fence, so I could grab it from under the fence opening. After a few minutes the ball was only a few a feet away. One of the coaches walked passed, picked it up and .... threw the ball back on the practice field. Everyone watching me and myself included was disappointed at the coach. All that work gone for nothing. At least one of the minor league players on the field saw this and threw me a ball for my efforts.

Twins minor league had first full practice on Thursday, but players spread out over five fields and running everywhere tracking down the only two player I know was impossible. I hope I have better luck next week.

With the MLB team on the road I attended 2 minor league and major leaguers who were left behind practices. I got 3 baseballs 1 2016 FL Spring Training, 1 MLB and 1 MiLB ball.  I was able to get 1 autographs. The big name playeto sign was Byung Ho Park, Walking off the field after practice, I called his name out and I was the first he came to. I congratulated on his game the day before where he hit his spring training homerun.

Week 3 Auto's & Balls

The minor league spring training game schedule came out this week. I will be attending some of the games next week as they are free to watch with very few fans attending. Should be easy picking for foul balls and autographs from both teams players.
Week total: 2 Games, 12 Autographs 9 Balls (1 give-a-way) 
Spring training total 4 Games, 52 Autographs 22 Balls (3 give-a-way) 1 Bat


I usually don't like talking bad about the places we stay, but Shady Acres Travel Park is one I can't let off the hook. All the RV parks in Fort Myers are priced high for the snowbirds, and not taking that into account or the unreliable internet and lousy TV reception here are the reasons why we will never return to this park. There is a $5 a month fee to have a mail box to receive mail. This is optional, but still. Only one shower house with two showers for the whole park that has around 300 sites. The water pressure in the showers are weak and a pain when the water is just dripping from the shower head. The trash dumpsters are always full and trash stacked up all over the place. One night we went to throw away our trash and saw raccoons rumbling through the bags. The latest one that just made me boil was the electric bill. I was charged for the electric use by the people before us. I was home with my door open and the bill was shoved in my door handle, Just knock on the door and give me my bill. Also, how hard is it to read my meter when the worker dropped us off at our site, then this would not have been an issue. The bill issue did get fixed, it just took time to get corrected.

We spent a few hours at the local park. There was a flea mart and hiking trail where we saw turtles. Luckily, we did not run into any alligators. One vendor was selling bread in shapes of Florida animals. Then, on our hike Hiromi looked into water and spotted a turtle.

During our weekly grocery shopping we found some local delights. I have not seen these since I was in Thailand. No we don't eat chicken paws.

With two weeks left in Fort Myers we started throwing ideas around on what & where we are heading next. We have three weeks to get from Fort Myers, FL to Canton, OH. This will be our last road trip of the winter, as we have a spot in Ohio for the whole summer. I like to live in the moment and take my time to see if we can find the unexpected. But, having a plan is also helpful for our parents so they know where we are. Next week I'll give you a taste of our itinerary in "What's Next?".

What's Next?
Final week of spring training in Fort Myers, FL.

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