It’s well recognized that Arizona is one of America’s favorite travel destinations. The Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, native American culture, the Sonoran Desert, snow and water sports, spectacular resorts, top level golf courses, unique landscape, night life, and high-end shopping are just a few of the assets that draw people to our destination.
It’s interesting to note that many of the people who come to Arizona for such experiences first fell in love with the state when they came here to watch one of the their favorite Major League Baseball teams participate in spring training. According to the Cactus League, the 15 teams who participate in March’s pre-season games now draw 1,595,614 attendees at 233 games.
I sat just below his box when the late Harry Caray stuck his head out and led the crowd in singing ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’ during one of his last seasons broadcasting Spring Training. The late, beloved Chicago Cubs broadcaster proved he was more than just a Budweiser expert when he once explained the appeal of baseball in the spring. Caray said, “It’s the fans that need spring training. You gotta get ’em interested. Wake ’em up and let ’em know that their season is coming, the good times are gonna roll.”
I think it was some of the Spring Training appeal we experienced that led my son, Andrew, and I to recently take a short trip to Las Vegas to catch a few of the National Basketball Association’s Summer League games. We weren’t disappointed.
We were able to see parts of games featuring eight teams, there was plenty of room to get up and move around (which is essential for me) without disturbing anyone, we were able to watch many of our former Kansas Jayhawk players in action, we were able to get really close to the action, and there was ample opportunity for a little photoremedy. Just click on an image below to view our Summer League shots in slideshow mode.
While the NBA Summer League is a bit different than MLB’s Spring Training in that it primarily features players at the beginning of their professional careers. It is still a great experience for fans like Andrew and me. And, just like Harry said, “It woke us up and reminded us that a new season is coming.” It helped us remember, “The good times are gonna roll!”
All photographs on this blog, unless noted otherwise, are photoremedy originals.