Media Day with the San Antonio Missions

Joe Ruiz is one of three new interns who will be covering the San Antonio Missions for this season. Ruiz recently attended the Missions' media day at Wolff Stadium and wrote in with his wide-eyed account of the experience.

While it may sound cliché, baseball starts in April for a reason.

The weather is practically perfect for a family to attend a game and for the ballplayers to play under great conditions.

Idealistically, the start of the baseball season signifies the beginning of spring, the dawn of a new season with new hopes and dreams.

The everyday hopes and dreams for a Minor League ballplayer are to get the call to the Majors. They want their play to be recognized enough by the parent club enough to allow them the opportunity to play on baseball's largest stage with baseball's greatest players.

Media Day is also an ideal way to start the season, even more so in the minors. A minor league baseball team might be one of the only sports franchises in a city, so it's no doubt that the backing of the fans is an essential piece to becoming a class organization. Media Day allows the local and regional press the chance to meet the new prospects and to welcome back the prospects from the previous season.

As a new writer for, Tuesday's Media Day in San Antonio was essentially the start of my hopes and dreams as a writer, just the same as the men who take the field in ballparks around the country.

Nelson M. Wolff Municipal Stadium isn't an imposing ballpark.

The stadium is nestled next to State Highway 90, minutes from both downtown San Antonio and Lackland Air Force Base. It's primarily known as a pitcher's park due to the constantly incoming winds.

The large, green backdrop sits just outside the wall 402 feet from home plate while the wall stands at 310 feet to left and 340 feet to right. A large, electronic scoreboard sits in right center field while a grassy area perfect for watching the game stretches from the left-field foul pole to left-center.

Media Day started as a gray, dreary day with about 10 people representing television, newspaper, radio and internet outlets sitting in the visitor's dugout down the first-base side preparing to interview Missions players - new and old - and ask questions ranging from the strengths of the team this season, the quest for a third-consecutive league championship and the team's addition of a professional dance/cheer squad known as the "Mission Belles".

With the home opener less than two weeks away (April 18), the grass was a little bit greener than normal but the white chalk had yet to be placed down consistently. The maintenance of the field continued in the background as I attempted to hear the answers from the first few interviews. We also had to deal with the ambient, gentle sounds of military planes flying directly over our heads in preparation for landing.

After our interviews were completed, most of the broadcast outlets left while some remained behind to get film of practice. While we waited, the sun broke through the clouds to end the three-straight days of rain we had experienced and, surprisingly, finished our outing with a picture-perfect San Antonio April day.

Media Day for me was an opportunity not only to begin a professional relationship with the team I will cover throughout the season, but to re-adjust myself to the industry which I have come to love. I have my own hopes and dreams of becoming a journalist, just as the San Antonio Missions ballplayers have their own hopes and dreams of ascending to "The Show".

This April day is a great way to start on our goals.

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