I started looking at the Cubs’ Spring Training ticket site in December. I knew from experience that Cubs’ spring training games frequently sell out. Since the Mariners were going to be playing the Cubs just once while we were in Mesa, I was on a mission to get those tickets! That was accomplished on the very first day tickets were available.
Given we don’t live near Seattle, we have been to quite a few Mariners games. We usually go to a game in Seattle each year and we’ve seen them in Minneapolis and Kansas City. Since we’ve been in Arizona the last few years, spring training games are a given.
Surprisingly, we’ve never been to a game that King Felix has pitched. Felix Hernandez has been the Seattle pitching icon for a decade. Our game didn’t have many regulars in the line up, but we finally had Felix. Unfortunately he got hit with a line drive in the second inning and was out. X-rays were negative!
The folks behind us were from Chicago and when first baseman Anthony Rizzo came up to bat, they talked about him being a Stoneman-Douglas High school graduate. Rizzo returned to Florida after the school shooting and helped where he could. It was easy to root for him knowing that.
Most spring training parks are shared by two teams. For example, Seattle shares their Peoria facility with the San Diego Padres. The Cubs have Sloan Park all to themselves and that allows for some individualization.
When we saw the Cubs’ retired numbers, we wondered why there were two 31s. Google says: Fergie Jenkins wore number 31 in the 1960s and 70s and Greg Maddux was given the same number when he joined the Cubs in the 1980s. Both had “number retirement” worthy careers.
And the other numbers: Number 42 is retired in all of Major League Baseball to honor Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in the league. Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 50s.
The other Cubs players were: 10 Ron Santo, 14 Ernie Banks, 23 Ryne Sandberg and 26 Billy Williams.
The other tickets I decided we had to have were to Hamilton, the traveling Broadway production being performed at ASU. When the tickets went on sale in December, thirty two shows sold out in four hours. Hamilton is a hot ticket on Broadway and all over the country. I hadn’t even known to try and get Hamilton tickets in December.
Once we got to Mesa and saw Hamilton was in the valley, I went back and forth about whether we should pay more than twice the regular ticket price on the secondary market. After going back and forth for a week, I held my breath, clicked the keyboard, and paid for two back row, balcony tickets. Randy was doubtful, but as I don’t squander money very often, he didn’t grumble.
There were no pictures allowed during the production but this was the set.
The show that won 11 Tony Awards really is every bit as good as you’ve heard. We didn’t look at our watches once in three hours. We have no regrets about spending the money and consider ourselves fortunate to have had the opportunity.
If you have the opportunity to see Hamilton, we suggest you brush up on your Founding Fathers- Alexander Hamilton – Aaron Burr history. The songs move very quickly and we were glad for a good working knowledge going in.
However, we were not well versed regarding Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. After Alexander’s death (at the hands of Aaron Burr) she lived another fifty years. Until age 97, she dedicated herself to telling Alexander’s story and preserving his legacy. Eliza Hamilton opened the first orphanage in New York City because Alexander had been an orphan. With Dolly Madison, she was instrumental in raising funds for the Washington Monument. She was a very complex and interesting woman.
Our other tickets haven’t been nearly so precious in dollars or effort, but these two were worth it!