Greetings from Goodyear! It is Day 1 at the Player Development Complex and Spring Training home of the American League Champion Cleveland Indians! I’m Denny Linden, and it is my pleasure to post the daily happenings of the 2017 Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp both in this blog and in Smoke Signals, the camp newspaper that will be posted separately after it is distributed at camp each morning. (Please keep in mind that AZ is in the Mountain Time Zone this time of year). Simply click on the link to the PDF file.
Please also follow me on Twitter@IndiansFC for quick live action updates.
This morning under cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures the campers had their first stretching session led by Camp Manager, Rick Manning. This year’s campers bested many past squads in jumping jacks, needing only three rounds to meet Rick’s challenge of: “We’re going to start together, and we’re going to finish together”. Always a hoot!
Next were the instructional clinics where Joe Charboneau and Mike Hargrove demonstrated proper hitting technique; Max Alvis, Carlos Baerga, and Alvaro Espinoza taught infield; Rick Manning taught outfield; and former Tribe hurlers Scott Bailes, Len Barker, Dave Burba, Mike Jackson, Steve Karsay, Sid Monge, Chad Ogea, Eric Plunk, Jason Stanford, and Jaret Wright watched each camper throw and provided individual pitching instruction.
It was then time for batting practice! After lunch, the campers headed to the fields for practice games for the Pros and Pro Assistants to see them in action for their draft selections. Results will be revealed at the hotel just before 6pm, followed by each team going to dinner together. Sunday festivities will conclude with the Annual Cleveland Indians Fantasy Camp Trivia contest, with yours truly having the fun of being quiz master. Contest proceeds are split between the winning team and Cleveland Indians Charities.
The trivia contest will be held in the ballroom at the posh Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa, our home away from home for the week, same sight as last night’s opening banquet:
After a fun cocktail reception and delicious dinner, we were treated to incredible video highlights of the 2016 Cleveland Indians amazing run to win the AL Pennant. Camp Commissioner and Indians Senior Vice President Bob DiBiasio welcomed everyone and recognized our long-term veterans paced by Ken Seelie and Steve Sutker with 21 camps each, and Greg VanValkenburgh who is here for his 20th camp. A full camper listing including their number of camps is in today’s Smoke Signals.
Bobby D also recognized the many families here to enjoy camp together. The names and relationships will appear in Monday’s Smoke Signals.
Campers and Pros alike then passed the microphone around the room to introduce themselves. A great time with friends old and new!
Below at the after-party are Eric Walsky and Bill Schubert, who decided to go “old school” complete with handlebar mustaches. Gotta love it!