Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

FanFest 2011, Part 1

Every year in conjunction with the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball sponsors FanFest, a festival of everything baseball. Last year the game was held in Phoenix so I decided to take it all in — and to compare with my memories of the NFL Experience which pro football puts on at the site of the Super Bowl. If you do not live in one of the cities where the All-Star game or Super Bowl was held, you may not have had the opportunity to join the fun. Today, you may do that vicariously through the lens of my D300.

At the entrance to FanFest is the biggest baseball I have every seen. Bathed in moving colored lights, it hypnotizes the visitor to make sure you will enjoy all the activities and spend money. Note the signatures on the baseball of MLB executives and players, past and present.

Just inside the great hall of the Civic Center was the television setup. Here they were talking baseball in front of the cameras. I have no idea if this was really being broadcast or recorded for later broadcast, but I would not be surprised since there is an entire channel on most cable and satellite services devoted just to Major League Baseball. Gotta fill the time somehow.

Nearby was the ersatz broadcast studio for those fans who wanted to try their hand at play-by-play or commentary. The photo makes it look like this guy is in the clouds but it is simply a result of the reflections of the Plexiglas booth that he occupied.

Vendors, vendors everywhere — selling memorabilia of all kinds — photos...

artwork, ...

uniforms, ...

autographed baseballs, ...

and these necklaces that most of you have probably seen worn by baseball players. These are made by Phiton and contain "Aqua Metals – metals that are broken down into microscopic particles dispersed in water. Every product features Phiten technology: from our signature necklaces, performance apparel, to our sports care items like body supports, tape and lotion. We tailor our products for everyone, from hardcore athletes to weekend warriors, to get them through the daily grind and to support a healthy and active lifestyle".

Pardon me if I remain skeptical.

And lots of old-fashioned fun for the kids such as this person making balloon animals.

In the middle of it all, they set up a kid-size baseball diamond where fundamentals were being taught — here, how to slide into home. The kids loved it.

Next space over was a batting cage. They really did a good job of offering activities for the kids.

But face painting? The only face paint I know of that is connected with baseball is the black patches that a few players paint under their eyes to cut down on glare (although I tend to associate that more with football — whatever).

But you have to admit that she's a real cutie — with or without her face paint and sparkles.

Everything baseball was on sale — even a chair shaped like a baseball glove. I'm sure this was on this kid's wish list for birthday or Christmas.

To be continued...


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com