Pittsburgh Pirates fantasy camp, 2013 was almost as good as the 2010 original for me. Rarely are things as good as the impression they make the first time and that held true this week. I was bright eyed and very unsuspecting three years ago. I returned as a seasoned veteran with two other camps, Detroit 2011 and the Yankees last year sandwiched in between and what once was a surprise now becomes an expectation.
If you like the idea of putting on a baseball uniform and leaving the day to day routine behind this experience is for you. It’s what keeps me coming back. There is something mysterious and romantic and free about walking around in baseball togs 50 years after you have license to do it!
So thanks camp coordinator Joe Billetdeaux and the Pittsburgh Pirates. You put on one heck of a show for $3800 as testament to the very fast sell-out of 96 available spots. I told anyone that asked the Pirates camp is the best and the Yankees a very close second. The Yankees being $1200 more and one day shorter will shift the nod to the Pirates for value but if you are a Yankee fan and want the major league experience then start saving the pennies. It’s a must do.
I wrap up my week and head home. Off the field it’s time to get back home and to the office. On the field the week was so-so for me. I didn’t perform the way I had expected and part was an injury or two, part is age and part was attrition of our team which forced everyone remaining to just about play every inning of every game.
For the previous three camps my baseball cards say I was 28 for 56 for a pretty nifty .500 ‘career’ camp batting average. Things went south this week and other than the blast to the 335 sign in right field my numbers were a bit sub-par for camp and for my expectations. I finished the week with seven hits in 20 at-bats for a .350 average with 6 RBI’s, 2 runs scored (I’m still winded), 5 walks and a pretty cool double that if I had to do it over again I would have headed for third!