Friday, February 27, 2015

By Ellen Bell, Staff Reporter - 

Homecoming usually happens in the fall, but for me

It's all about the spring.

That's when we get to return to the field, rediscover our team, and reconnect with our passion for baseball.

Spring Training is more than just a month of practice games that don't count.

It's the beginning of our favorite season, when we get to dream big dreams and hope for the best. Last season's disappointments take a back seat to this summer's possibilities. 

At Spring Training..we all get to think that this could be our year.

Every March, Angels fans flood into Arizona seeking their own kind; the other baseball lovers who can't even wait one more month to watch nine innings. In many ways, Spring Training is more than just a sporting event.

It's a family reunion.

That's how I feel every time I attend AngelsWin Fan Fest. I get to see my fan friends, the faces behind the screen names. For many of us, it's the only chance we'll get to hang out, commiserate about where we fell short last year, and talk about the games yet to be played. Think of it as an Angels Support Group: and we all share the same sickness; die hard love for our team.

This year, Fan Fest begins with a Friday Night dinner shared with invited players and sports writers. Front office big wigs stop by and a few minor leaguers are always on hand, happy to meet the fans. I'm sure other past attendees will agree with me when I say that it was doubly sweet seeing Kole Calhoun and Matt Shoemaker's big league successes after meeting them when they were just trying to make the team. 

In fact, I have many happy FanFest memories; meeting Jerry Dipoto,  Tim Salmon and Arte Moreno,  watching Victor Rojas buy the whole line at the bar a drink, and sharing my love of Angels baseball with my 88 year-old Dad. 

But I have to admit my favorite part of the Fan Fest weekend is the Sunday morning, "State of the Team" talk with Tim Mead, VP of Communications. Every year, we congregate at Tempe Diablo Stadium and sit in the sunshine-filled stands, hearing about the organization that we love from an insider's perspective. All while watching the Angels take batting practice on the field in front of us. 

It never fails. I leave Tempe pumped up and primed for another season of Angels baseball.

Why don't you join in on the fun this year? I'll see you there!

To purchase Fanfest '15 tickets today, click here
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