Ohio family of four wins once-in-a-lifetime spring training experience
Robyn and Steve Katzenstein and their children, Nikki, 17, and Michael, 14, who arrived Wednesday, March 18, 2015, were in town to enjoy the great opportunity that included seeing the Indians up-close and personal during a batting practice at the spring training complex, snag a few autographs and walk onto the field of Goodyear Ballpark before seeing Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
The Katzensteins were among 1,200 entrants in the drawing sponsored by Goodyear Ballpark at the annual Tribefest at Cleveland’s Progressive Field the weekend of Jan. 22-24. The Get to Goodyear Spring Training Trip Giveaway was a four-day, three-night trip that included airfare, car rental, hotel stay and game tickets. This was the Katzenstein’s first time to Goodyear for spring training.
All wearing Cleveland Indians T-shirts on Saturday, the day was quite the contrast to “back home” where Chardon’s temperature was half of Goodyear’s 84 degrees.
Robyn Katzenstein, who works in sales, said it was a “cold January day,” when they decided at the last minute to make the 40-minute drive west to Tribefest in downtown Cleveland.
“We never win anything,” Robyn Katzenstein jokingly said. “We were at the movies when we heard we won the trip. I couldn’t believe it. When we went to Tribefest, it was just one of those days where we said, ‘all right, what do we want to do?’ I’m glad we went, or this would’ve never happened.”
The Katzensteins also attended Friday night’s Indians game against the Angels at Goodyear Ballpark that drew a record-setting crowd of 11,549 – the third sell-out in the ballpark’s seven-year history.
“It’s exciting,” said Nikki, who chased down Jesus Aguilar and Brandon Moses for autographs at the spring training complex on Saturday.
Michael’s favorite part of the trip?
“Seeing the players,” the seventh grader said. “It’s fun.”
The family’s trip, which ended Sunday, March 22, also included a drive up to the Grand Canyon on Thursday and as Steve Katzenstein said, “Lots of hiking at Estrella Mountain Regional Park and the nearby White Tank Mountains.
Steve, who works in banking and has been to 22 of the last 23 Indians’ regular-season Opening Days - added that he even was able to talk Nikki into missing school to come out for the trip. A senior at Chardon High School, Nikki is preparing to go to Bowling Green State University to major in special education after graduation.
“It’s been great,” Steve said. “I figured it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and we’ve got to do it.”