Showing posts with label fantasy camp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fantasy camp. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Red Sox Fantasy Camp Experience - Arriving in Ft Myers

I am at Red Sox Fantasy Camp and words simply cannot describe exactly what it is like, but I will try. How did I get here, you might ask? Back in the Summer of 2017, I entered a contest held by JetBlue and the Sox where you had to tweet a photo of yourself and why you were a "nonstopfan" for the chance to win a trip to Red Sox Fantasy Camp and I won.  If you've been reading this blog long enough you know I'm a lifelong Red Sox fan and love the PawSox and everything that the teams do for their fans! I couldn't believe it! I've never won something so extravagant, and I was super excited! I got to take a guest, so my dad came with me.

I thought I would start training for it in November and joined the local Y and decided to get a personal trainer to kick things into high gear for the last few weeks before camp started. Unfortunately, I caught a small virus the weekend before Christmas that sidelined my training (I hate viruses but that's for another blog post) and therefore put into question my ability to fully participate (because I'm certainly not athletically inclined). My doctor had said if I do participate to certainly take it slow and see the trainers if they were there.

Red Sox Fantasy Camp Director
Tom Kennedy addressing the Rookies.
I arrived at Fort Myers Southwest Florida International Airport on Sunday afternoon and met Carvel, one of the two shuttle drivers for camp, who was waiting for our flight. We picked up a few of the attendees and made our way to the Crowne Plaza Hotel for check-in and Rookie orientation.

The check-in was a breeze and the rookie orientation gave some sage advice from two veteran campers, John and Ray. The advice I listened to most was start of slow, and taper off throughout the week. It was an important piece of advice because we are all not professional athletes and don't want to injure ourselves. In order to attend camp you have to be at least 30 years old and at the upper end of 38, I was one of the youngest attendees by probably 10 years. More than a few campers described getting the camp experience as a "once in a lifetime" gift from their significant others for a variety of significant occasions, and had such a wonderful time that somehow they have been able to find their way back to camp each year.

Red Sox radio legend Joe Castiglione announcing
the professional player coaches.
After orientation, we had a cocktail hour and the Welcome Reception which was held in the hotel ballroom. We were introduced to all of the professional players who would be our coaches, by Red Sox radio legend Joe Castiglione and I was amazed at how approachable and personable they were! I swear if you closed your eyes, and just listened it sounded like you were hearing some of the same calls he would make for some legendary plays in Red Sox history. Most of the players were those who I had baseball cards of as a kid in the 80's and 90's, like Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, Bob Stanley, Rich Gedman, Bret Saberhagen and others... The food was amazing and we then went to sleep because we were so tired!

NOTE: I won this experience as part of a contest held by JetBlue and the Red Sox. I was not asked to blog about this, cover this experience by anyone. I am solely writing about it out of my own excitement and thought that my readers would enjoy my journey of playing baseball and being coached by some amazing individuals. I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride! All opinions are my own.