Blog by: Eric Kuznar
On Sunday, I got the opportunity to cover the New York Mets vs. Saint Louis Cardinals. Yesterday, it was the Minnesota Twins vs. Saint Louis.
While yesterday was my first experience at a Major League Baseball game, the game today gave me an insight into what happens in order to make the games happen and fill the stands.
The Twins game showed me a new side of baseball that I have never experienced before. I played the sport growing up like many American kids; however,I stopped playing in middle school.
Seeing the activity and effort that goes behind the scenes of putting on a major league sporting event and the passion the fans bring into every game changed my perception of what spring training is about.
On Sunday I saw how passionate the fans were about the Mets organization. I was not expecting to see thousands of people packing the bleachers or fervent fans trying to get autographs.
At the Twins, not only did I see a packed stadium and many die-hard fans, but I also a lot of what happens behind the scenes to put on the game for the fans. I went everywhere from the field, the press box and the locker room. I interviewed two athletes, multiple fans and a coach during the several hours I spent searching for stories.
One thing that stuck out to me while I walked around the stadium, listening to people and taking in the scenes was the amount of culture of the fans surrounding the teams that traveled with their organizations for several weeks to Florida.
Walking around the Mets facilities, it was thick New York accents and with Minnesota it was fried cheese curds. While there are differences between the organizations, the one thing not different between the two organizations was the passion that these fans bring to the field.
It did not matter that the spring training games do not decide which team makes the playoffs later this season. These families that packed the stands cheering for their favorite player and team cared only about witnessing a game they love and passing on a tradition that has been called America’s past time.