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    You know what excites me the most about this time of the year?

    Spring Training. I mean it. Major League Baseball Spring Training. The day that pitchers and catchers report to spring training, is like an *unofficial* holiday to me, in my house.

    Ever since I was a little girl, I have been a HUGE baseball fan. Saint Louis Cardinals specifically. I can remember staying up late in 1982, listening to the last pitch of the World Series on KMOX radio, and hearing the final call by Jack Buck when the Cardinals clinched the world series.

    Full disclosure: although an ardent baseball fan, I really miss Whitey Herzog’s “small ball” approaches to baseball. I loved the strategy of the 1980s managing style where players played very fundamental baseball, advancing runners, stealing bases, working diligently as a team to win the game.

    I’m not quite as big of a fan of the homerun and 100+ mph pitching, however I do appreciate the athletic skill that it takes to be able to compete at this level. Time changes things and such is the case with baseball.

    Anyway, the spring training series that takes place in Florida is referred to as the Grapefruit League, and the games/spring training season that takes place in Arizona is referred to as the Cactus League.

    Typically, being a Cardinal fan, I head down to spring training for a couple of weeks this time of the year. It’s a nice respite from the cold of the Midwest and also a chance to get to see the players up close and personal, talk to them, get some autographs and really just thaw out from the winter.

    I’m not heading anywhere this year due to COVID19, but you can bet I’ll be keeping track of the progress right here from Saint Louis, MO.

    When this time of the year rolls around, something shifts in me and I can feel spring right around the corner. Turns out this year, we got 8 inches of snow dumped on us in Saint Louis, the same day that pitchers and catchers reported for the first day of spring training.

    I was a collegiate softball player, so baseball/softball is definitely something I know intimately having played competitively my whole life. I just absolutely love the sound of the ball as it snaps into the glove or the crack of the ball on the bat. Those are sounds of springtime to me.

    I don’t know what it is about baseball starting back up that puts a skip back into my step; maybe it’s the anticipation of listening to the games on the radio (I still prefer to listen to them than watch them) while floating in the pool or running errands, or just the promise of warmer temperatures and longer days just around the corner.

    Whatever it is, spring training energizes the feeling of happiness inside of me and also touches the little kid’s place of pure joy, fun and excitement as well.

    So yes, if you reach out and no one answers, you might check the ball field. That’s likely where I’m going to be. I’ll see you there!

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