The month of March is a big month if you’re a major or minor league baseball player because of spring training. I understand this blog’s purpose is to serve as a platform to highlight the different things going on in the Brewers minor and major league communities. However, there is a strong sense of community in many ways during spring training as people from all over the country travel to Arizona (or Florida) to show support for their team, including myself. People also expressed interest in hearing about my trip to Arizona for Brewers spring training and what my life is like during baseball season.
I happen to hold the sport of baseball very close to my heart. I worked for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, for four years. In addition, my boyfriend Josh Uhen is a pitcher in the Brewers minor league system, so baseball is a huge part of my life even after hanging up my name tag with the Timber Rattlers after last season.
Working for the Timber Rattlers opened my eyes to the reality of baseball in that it really is not a luxurious life for the players and/or their families during the process of becoming an MLB player. There are so many unknowns with the profession. The players could be sent up or down at any time, could be traded any day or could get released if they don’t execute. Their lives have to revolve around baseball from February/March to the beginning of September. However, all of the players are aware of what they are signing up for, and like any job, are 100% invested.
On March 4, I drove Josh to the Appleton International Airport to send him on his way to Arizona for spring training. Luckily, I had my spring training trip planned before I had to say goodbye, so I was a bit at ease, but it doesn’t get any easier. On March 23, I flew from Cancun, Mexico, where I was vacationing with my family at Moon Palace Resort, to Phoenix, Arizona to visit Josh and my other major/minor league friends.
This year was my third trip to Arizona to attend spring training, and it has become one of my favorite times of the year. One of the hardest aspects about being a part of the baseball family is that I don’t see some of my closest friends for a year at a time because they are all in a different part of the country playing for their respective teams. We truly all make up our own community and I appreciate these people so much because we are all going through the same thing in one way or another. Among these people are other players girlfriends, the players themselves, a good portion of the coaches and other staff members from different ball parks. We are all rooting for each other.
In addition to the “internal” baseball community, the “external” baseball community (fans) is incredible. It truly is amazing how passionate Wisconsinites are for their teams. Any time I go to Maryvale, the Brewers spring training park, I always feel like I’m in Milwaukee. The atmosphere feels as if someone cut out a chunk of Wisconsin and pasted it into Phoenix.
On March 28, I got on an airplane and left Phoenix to come back home. This goodbye was harder than most because at this point, right now, I am unsure as to when I will see Josh again. It could be the beginning of June before we are reunited. Josh will be leaving for Biloxi, Mississippi to play for the Biloxi Shuckers, Double-A affiliate of the Brewers, after he finishes up his rehab program for his oblique sometime this week. #ShuckYeah
I’m looking forward to the season and what it has in store for all of my baseball family, Josh and myself. I am graduating in May and plan to move down by Josh once I am finished with everything here in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.