Every baseball fan should have a spring training trip on their bucket list. I’ve just returned from a long weekend in Arizona where I took in some Cactus League baseball. It was my first ever trip to spring training and I’m now convinced that next to the post-season, the best baseball to watch is played in March. Here are 10 reasons you should make a spring training trip happen in your baseball future:

1. It’s relatively cheap. GA tickets on the outfield grass – about $8.
2. You can sit on grass in the outfield!
3. It’ll be 82 degrees and sunny. I’ll bet that’s not true where you are.
4. Everybody’s an optimist. From the ushers to the media to the players to the fans. There are reasons to believe that this is the year for your team. Even if you’re a Seattle Mariners fan.
5. It’s casual. You can even bring clear liquids in an open container through the front gate. The TSA would freak.
6. You can see big leaguers screw up. It’s true. Go watch them practice before a game. They boot balls and forget to cover the base and get yelled at. It’s great for any aspiring ballplayer’s ego.
7. You can be the first to scout a prospect. Whether you’re a fantasy player or a know-it-all fan, you can spot the young, up-and-coming talent and brag about it later. Case in point – Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds. You heard it here.
8. Autographs. Kids are lined up between the clubhouses and the fields in every ballpark. But not a mob scene of kids, they’re only 1 deep against the fence for 20 yards. And the players sign. And chat it up. It’s really neat. My kid got a ball full of signatures in 20 minutes. Figuring out who’s signatures they are will take longer.
9. If you need a day off, you can play golf or sit by the pool. Remember, you’re in Arizona or Florida.
10. Ric Flair might be there. Really. Some guys in the souvenir shop showed me a photo of themselves with a shirtless Nature Boy Ric Flair. He apparently makes a traditional appearance. Wooooooo!