I had hoped to visit the Albuqurque Isotopes while I was on the road. We'll be driving right through there, and I figured it'd be a nice stop for a day, we could get a motel, and have a short driving day. I checked online, and realized the Isotopes where not in town. I was bummed. Until I noticed a little asterisk next to the schedule. There was a game on April 3rd, but it wasn't the beloved minor league team named for the Simpsons episode; it was my Seattle Mariners! Playing a spring training game! In the one place this year I'll be able to see them! Perfection! (Ironically, the first Isotopes episode featured Ken Griffey Jr., now back with the Mariners. So I'll get to see him.)
There have been a lot of serendipitous aspects of this move back east. Some are more important to our overall well being. But none made me happier than to realize I'll get to see the Mariners at least once this season. If they go on to have a wonderful season, I can have the satisfaction of knowing I saw the beginning. If not, then, well, I still had a good day in April in New Mexico watching baseball. If baseball is blessing my move back east, then it must be a good idea.
We may also hit some more minor league games while we're traveling. I love minor league baseball. There is something so pure about the game. The stadiums are small, the players are not paid much more than normal people. There is a speed to the game, uninterrupted by jumbotrons and grounds crews. I hope to see the Nashville Sounds, and the Oklahoma Redbirds. I'm planning on taking my son and my dad down to see the West Virginia Power. (Great name. Sounds like a wrestling move.)
The one benefit of Ithaca is its proximity to great minor league teams. The Syracuse Chiefs and Binghamton Mets can be seen with easy day trips. I'll try and make lots of trips this summer to see games. I'm looking forward to the minor league baseball season. Even more so now that I get one chance to see the Mariners in 2010. Even if I end up buying an Isotopes souvenir.