Baseball is back. The opening weekend of Spring Training for the Cactus League is finally here. Tucson once hosted Cleveland Indians now Guardians, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Colorado Rockies. Now all have gone north to be in the greater Phoenix area, a larger spectator base and less travel time between each of the fifteen Cactus League teams. The weather has been a little iffy.
Friday was in the 40s with clouds, Saturday climbed into the 60s with clouds and Sunday started with rain showers and overcast skies in the 50s for the day. That may not sound cold to those in the midwest or on the east coast who are experiencing freezes now but to a Tucsonan like me, being below 80 is considered a freeze.
Our daughter and grandson braved the frigid temps to attend a Cubs vs Dodgers game on Sunday – Dodgers won 9-4. The Dodgers this year are so weighted with talent, they may be a bit top heavy. On paper they are a slam dunk (basketball) – a monster outta-the-park grand slam cinch to be in the World Series; but time and the baseball gods can make those paper predictions just so much shredded confetti. The rules are different this year, one I applaud – the limited field shifts (that was out of control); two I’m skeptical of – the 15-second pitch clock and bigger bases. We’ll see if they improve a nearly perfect game.
Since my favorite players have done the musical bases game and switched teams over and over, I now have no favorite teams. I just root for my players. The big advantage to that is I am rarely disappointed in the outcome of a game because somebody I like is nearly always on the winning side.
Besides the opening of baseball in Arizona, Tucson hosted La Fiesta de Los Vaqueros this week, a nine-day celebration of everything cowboy. It started as a three-day competition back in 1925 so we are in year 98 of the Festival. It is a big deal in Tucson. The kids are out of school on Thursday and Friday for rodeo week. Historically the Festival attracts cowboys, Indians, calvary, horses, steers, and bulls from all over the country. Each year there is a parade on Thursday. It is the longest non-mechanized parade in the country, 2.5 miles with over 200 entries. Sunday was the culmination of the competitions. Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages enter. Muttin’ Bustin’ and Junior Rodeo are for those 5 to 13. The reigning rodeo king, Trevor Brazile who has won eight All-Around Titles and numerous championships was here. He didn’t do so well this time around. The official results were not announced at the time of this post. Prizes amount to over $300,000. The Tucson rodeo was featured in several movies including, The Lusty Men, 8 Seconds, and Ruby Jean and Joe.
As a side note Tiger Woods was here in Tucson for a Match Play game this week and the Encantada Gem show, a part of our Gem and Mineral extravaganza, was this week. The G&M Show starts the first week of February and this was the final weekend. Buyers and dealers from all over the world gather to compare rocks.
This week my co-authors and I will participate in the Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Arizona, Saturday, March 4th from 10 am to 1 pm in the Indie Author Tent. It is the third largest book festival in the U.S. We have book signings at both Barnes and Noble stores, Broadway on March 3rd, 1 pm – 3 pm, and Foothills Mall on March 5th, 1 pm-3 pm.
Tucson is a Happenin’ Place.