Day 3 – Spring Training
I went to the practice fields around 10am, but there wasn’t too much going on. I watched Furcal, Beltran, and John Jay take batting practice under the watchful eye of Mark McGwire.
Afterwards, Furcal and Beltran signed autographs, but Jay had to get read to play that day. Beltran signed for about 30 minutes! He even signed a guy’s wooden leg. I got my cap signed.
I had a great seat about 10 rows back from homeplate for the game. The Cards were taking on the Mets. Before the game, I noticed Bill Parcells on the field, talking with the Mets coach Terry Collins.
I was sitting by some friendly Marlins fans and even a friendly Yankee fan (imagine that!), and it was a nice, convivial atmosphere.
The Cards won 4-3, powered by great pitching by Kyle Lohse who also got an RBI. Lohse struck out seven batters in six innings. Matt Carpenter was our offensive hero with a double and a homer. Chris Carpenter sat on the bench near the warm-up circle most of the game and signed autographs during inning breaks. I was able to get his autograph as well as Skip Schumaker’s autograph on my cap.
After the game, I hung around the players’ parking lot for a bit with the hard-core autograph seekers. We watched players leave but only a couple stopped to sign. John Jay signed for a while, and so did Jaime Garcia. I ended up with 5 autographs on my cap – Garcia, Beltran, Furcal, Schumaker, and Carpenter – pretty cool souvenir.
That night, I had a great dinner at Leftovers Cafe, which is owned by the same people who run Little Moir’s Food Shack where I’d eaten two nights prior. The ambience and food were pretty much the same. I had plantain-crusted fish and peanut butter banana empanadas. I sat at the counter and watched them cooking, so I really didn’t mind being a solo diner.
I had a great time at Spring Training. Wish I could go every year!