Part two of three, in a series on one player's experience in the California Winter League.
Palm Springs, Calif --
Wake up, eat breakfast, head to the yard for baseball activities, head back to the hotel and enjoy the day doing whatever else an individual can think of — a splash of the pro life.
It’s more exciting than that though, so, in further detail:
Daily wake up calls span anywhere from seven and nine o’clock in the morning. Upon the early morning yawns and stretches, breakfast is eaten on the balcony of our third floor room, facing a pool surrounded by palm trees and majestic mountains.
Following our meal session containing an unforgettable view, the roommates and I catch shuttles to the stadium at specified times for our respective teams' agenda.
Our hotel, which is actually considered as a location full of villas, is only a short five minute ride to the ballpark.
We are expected to arrive at least one hour prior to our scheduled game time, but many players arrive over an hour early to get prepared for first pitch. Game day preparations begin in the clubhouse of Palm Springs Stadium — which has an old school feel to it with steel lockers that have their beige paint chipping away, wooden benches in front of the stalls, no TV’s, just the faint musical waves of a stereo set-up down the hallway with the fresh smell of laundry trickling into the room — consisting of dressing, tee work, front toss, stretching, throwing and occasional trips to the training room for needed attention on pained areas of the body.
First pitch will either take place on the stadium field or the auxiliary field, depending on the schedule for the day.
Once the seven inning game is complete, a return trip to the clubhouse is in sight for uniform drop off for laundry. That’s the time when the stadium’s food spread can expect to be squared up by players from those clubs, especially myself, which if you know me, goes without saying.
Any sort of post-game work follows, whether it’s a trip to the batting cage or training room.
After a day’s work at the yard, it’s time to head back to the villas and hopping on the shuttle is the best option.
One can either jump in the pool, hot tub, shower or all three at some point, probably. What’s guaranteed is balcony sitting on and off for the rest of the night.
On certain days of the week, heading to the gym to get maintenance work in is a must. Lifting sessions take place at a local gym where month-long memberships are provided for players of the California Winter League.
To get there, finding a buddy with a car is the best bet. The next best option is grabbing a shuttle provided only at certain times of the day, call it semi-inconvenient, if you will. Last but not least, catching a ride with an Uber.
By the time a workout is completed, it’s dinner time.
Downtown Palm Springs has several restaurants to choose from that are within walking distance. Along with those, there are grocery stores for those that want to play chef, including myself, from time to time.
Once dinner is stuffed away, bedtime is within reach. For my two roommates from Chicago, bedtime happens much earlier than your average folk (and yes, they hear about it), but not before hours of laughter together with attention drawn to our TV which usually displays a few classics: That 70’s Show, The Office and South Park.
In between baseball, meals and binge watching TV shows, believe it or not, we find time for playful jabs at each other’s hometown areas with digs towards Chicago-Detroit sporting rivalries. Our fourth roommate is from San Diego and we throw a handful of the Midwest at him, just so he’s involved more times than not.
Who knew a handful of cats from the Midwest and one from So. Cal would get along oh so well?
Until next time, where you will get insight on my entire experience in California.
Alex Oleszkowicz is a writer for Cleat Geeks and Detroit Sports and Entertainment... but right now he is an aspiring professional baseball player. He agreed to document his journey as part of the California Winter League in a three-part series for us. This is Part One, with a day-in-the-life piece coming soon, and a summary piece at the conclusion of his experience.