Nearly 20 years after their arrival on the campus of the University of Michigan, the legendary “Fab Five” are once again a major topic of conversation, due to the outstanding and highly rated documentary that recently aired on ESPN. Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson are perhaps the most influential group of NCAA athletes, never to win a national championship.
Aside from being NCAA runner-up in 1992 and 1993, this collection of Wolverine basketball players left an indelible mark on the world of hoops. Their championship game losses to Duke in ’92 and North Carolina in ’93 are the second and third most watched NCAA basketball games in history. The American basketball consumer was absolutely fascinated by this team.
The Milwaukee Brewers enter the 2011 season as one of the favorites in the National League. The two undisputed leaders of the club are left fielder Ryan Braun and first baseman Prince Fielder. Both star players will be key contributors during this season’s push, but only one of these sluggers will most likely be a part of the team’s long term future.
Fielder is set to become a free agent next winter, commanding a salary that may price him out of the state of Wisconsin. On the other hand, Braun will almost certainly remain on the shores of Lake Michigan for many years to come.
Situated in the northwest corner of the vast Phoenix Metropolitan Area, the city of Surprise, Arizona is the spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. Both clubs share abundant space at the Surprise Recreation Campus, with games taking place at the nine-year-old Surprise Stadium.
This Cactus League venue does not receive the notoriety of other parks in the area, but, it is absolutely as high quality. The stadium is clean, modern and very fan friendly. The home team conducts batting practice on one of their many practice fields, while the visiting organization belts balls on the stadium playing field. As a result, the opportunity for souvenir baseballs is abundant.
The San Francisco Giants spring training home has a decidedly different feel than many of the ballparks in Arizona’s Cactus League. Scottsdale Stadium is located in the heart of the Phoenix metro area’s most vibrant and most visited area. Unlike many of its counterparts, Scottsdale Stadium was originally built for the main purpose of housing a minor league baseball team. Instead of having multiple acres of ball fields, this stadium has only one additional full field on its grounds. As a result, much of the Giants training efforts take place in the same stadium as where they play their games.