Hamilton, Kinsler and Young disappoint, but Surprise is still spectacular (video)

Surprise StadiumSituated 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 best place to obtain autographs and/or meet players exists near the dugout of the visiting team and down the home team foul lines. The Rangers enter from the right field corner, with the Royals entering from the left field corner. Fans situated in the front rows down each line are in prime position to meet their favorite players. On a more limited basis, the opportunity to get up close and personal is available throughout the vast maze of stadium backfields.  A fan can eventually get close to the fields, but the players are not as easily accessible as they are at Camelback Ranch, as an example. Still, it's worth the long walk for a hardcore fan.

Wednesday at Surprise Stadium was great for interacting with certain members of the Rangers (as featured in the encounter section), yet difficult when it came to mixing it up with the team's biggest stars. Below are videos of Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young walking right past the gathering of fans.

Also, take a look at two behind the scenes videos involving the visiting Angels. The first shot displays the team preparing for their game in front of the third base dugout. The second clip shows LA conducting CF to 3B throwing drills.