I just walked into my Fresno hotel room. Though my post-travel day brain may push a couple grammatical errors into this post, I figure now is as good a time as any to write about a Pacific Coast League (PCL) travel day.
I think I slept last night—for a few minutes. My iPhone alarm performed its duty and woke me at 3:15. Then, I dressed in our coded attire: slacks, a collared shirt and a sport jacket. My hair was in decent shape, so I got to skip the shower and save ten minutes (maybe TMI, but there’s a theme to this). Usually I meet the team at the stadium, where a bus takes us to the airport. Today, that bus left at 4. Instead, I chose another available option and found my own transportation to Sea-Tac, where I found my teammates.
Our Alaskan Airlines flight left Seattle at 640, punctually en route to Sacramento. Fortunately, a compassionate Alaskan Airlines employee made certain that every player on our team had an aisle or window seat. In the grind of a travel day, a day that begins with little to no sleep and ends with a physical contest, these little, positive things contribute a lot to the entire makeup of the day. An aisle seat is enormous. An aisle seat in an exit row? Words can hardly describe the extent of such good fortune. I am not playing today, so a regular aisle seat was plenty good for me.
Typically, travel in the PCL will include a commercial flight (with or without a connection) to one of the league’s cities. Also common is for a bus trip to follow that flight (or two). You may remember that our flight landed in Sacramento. We are playing Fresno; today, we got the flight/bus combo.
After grabbing our luggage, we loaded our bags and bodies onto a charter bus that hauled us three hours through central California until we reached our roadside hotel in Fresno. The bus pulled into the parking lot around noon, seven hours shy of tonight’s first pitch. I took a look at our itinerary and saw that batting practice is in the cages today—this is huge news! It means that our bus to the field is an hour and a half later than normal. It further means that, after factoring in time for lunch, I still have a solid 2-3 hour nap window!
I can’t over-emphasize those little positives…