The atmosphere of a Major League Spring Training game is what brings fans from far and wide. No matter who’s playing, fans will still come out to support their team and enjoy the classic American game.
Today, the lawns were filled with families and kids of various ages, ranging from toddlers to pre-teens. The Yankees vs. Twins game kicked off at 1:05 p.m. at Hammond Stadium. The boys in the crowd kept their mitts on at all times. The highlight for any baseball fan under the age of 12; catching a flyball. The prospect of which could happen at any time.
When a ball came flying toward the lawn, kids flew from all directions. With their eyes to the sky, they ran into one another and created a screaming, jumping mob. Only the lucky, or height-advantaged, were able to snatch balls from the skies.
The Lucky Catchers
Eleven-year-old Alex Dietsche was one of those lucky kids in the left lawn. A Yankees outfielder threw a spare ball to the lawn which sent kids hollering. Alex was among the jittery children at the fence, and threw his hat up in the air to compete with the surrounding mitts.
When he looked down the ball was in his hat.
“I didn’t think I caught the ball, my hat was just heavier than usual,” Alex exclaimed.
Alex sat back on his picnic blanket, smiling and eating his chocolate ice cream. It was his first Spring Training game and he was sitting with his grandfather, Larry Schulz, who is a born and bred Yankees fan from Buffalo, New York.
Alex, a big Aaron Judge fan, plays outfielder too. He is from North Carolina and came to Spring Training for his spring break vacation.
For Lucas Johnson, the best part of the day was Tanner Tully handing him a ball. Lucas is 8 years old and a Minnesota Twins fan. Seeing Max Kepler hit a homer was another bonus to his already exciting day.
Lucas and his older brother and younger sister are from Hudson, Wisconsin and drove all the way to Florida for their spring break vacation.
“It took 24 hours!” said Lucas. Both Lucas and his brother Levi are fans of Byron Buxton, a Twins outfielder. While the boys were engrossed in the gameplay, their younger sister Callie was content eating her dad’s mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Hammond Stadium will be back to life tomorrow when the Twins host the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:05 p.m.