The Final Countdown

It is sad to report that today is the last day of the trip.  It’s been amazing thus far with the continuation of many cherished spring traditions along with some new stuff that might someday get the same distinction.  The weather has really been perfect and the crowds pretty much non-existent.  What a shame to have to leave with such ideal conditions, but we can’t dwell on that.  What’s important is we have one last day to enjoy.  One last day to get the players that have eluded me the first four.  After four days, my list was actually extremely short; only 6 Padres players (including those invited to major league camp) hadn’t signed a card for me this trip.  I was looking for Eric Stults, Adys Portillo, Gregorio Petit, Matt Stites, Donn Roach, and Wilfredo Boscan.  Recognize any of those names?  Maybe one?  I already got all the “big” names; Headley, Maybin, Quentin, Marquis, Volquez, Grandal, Alonso.  No super stars here, and that’s not a problem.  These are the players I’m pulling for.  The lack of marquee players (pun intended) has to be part of why attendance is so low.

Padres starting Pitcher, Jason Maquis

Padres starting Pitcher, Jason Marquis

Royals starting PItcher, James Shields

Royals starting PItcher, James Shields

Today’s game: Padres vs Royals.   Lots of former Padres on the Royals squad: Miguel Tejada, Xavier Nady, and George Kottaras all stopped to sign their (Padres) card.   FYI- Thursday is $2 Hot Dog day at Peoria Sports Complex (except on 3/21).

First Pitch of Last Game

First Pitch of Last Game

It was a great day for autographs, totalling 75 signed cards on the day.  When Wilfredo Boscan signed for me after he pitched in the game, I had completed the entire roster.  (For the 2nd straight year.)  Last year it took 6 days and with some luck and some effort, I pulled it off in just 5 days this trip.   This was really a surprise because a few players are participating in the World Baseball Classic and wouldn’t be around camp for very long.

I completed the whole team once Wilfredo Boscan signed my card

I completed the whole team once Wilfredo Boscan signed my card

The Padres would eventually lose the game 5-4 and that puts us at 2-3 for the trip.  That’s better than last year!!  The final autograph tally is 239.  I’m pleased with that.

On the way home, we filled up in Palm Desert and opted for a make shift casino night since we didn’t go to one in Arizona.  We dined at the Waters Cafe in the Agua Caliente Casino.  This whole place smelt like an ashtray.  Steak and Eggs were decent.

Steak & Eggs - $12.75 at the Water's Cafe inside the Agua Caliente Casino

Steak & Eggs – $12.75 at the Water’s Cafe inside the Agua Caliente Casino

And thanks for the $165.

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights

Also want to thank Seth, Shinichi, Remo, Brian P., Deanna, and all the players who took some time for me.  Thanks to you as well for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it!

One last thing… your vote for the Best Beard on the Padres poll.

Vincent, Cashner, or Thayer?

Nick Vincent

Nick Vincent

Andrew Cashner

Andrew Cashner

Dale Thayer
Dale Thayer

Goodbye Peoria.  See you next year.

Goodbye Peoria. See you next year.

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About sdjonnyg

San Diego native and die hard Padres fan who enjoys catching Spring Training games and soaking in a ton of baseball every year. This blog is a daily recap of our adventures in the 2017 Cactus League in Phoenix, Arizona.
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