A self-employed project manager for web projects, Martinez’s passion for baseball began with weekend games with his father. During the week, his Martinez’s dad had a long commute to and from work, so going to baseball games became their time to hang out.
After his bedtime, Martinez would sneak into the living room and hook up his earphones to the TV to quietly watch late night baseball games. When he and his family moved to Arizona, he would bike to spring training games in Scottsdale.
The same zeal for the game has become a blog that Martinez attempts to keep unbiased. With baseball games nearly eleven months of the year, there is never a shortage of material.
“I saw it as an opportunity to give fans like myself information from another fan’s perspective,” he said.
His website, www.azhardball.com, covers the sport during all seasons in the Phoenix area.
“No one was taking advantage of the fact that Arizona has baseball all year round,” Martinez said.
During the regular season, Martinez splits Arizona Diamondbacks club level tickets with his father. He had a press pass until December and hopes a recent e-mail from the Diamondbacks means the stadium will give press access to bloggers.
Soon after the World Series ends, fall season begins. Fall training is tryouts for spring training, which is tryouts for the Major Leagues, Martinez said.
The season is Phoenix’s best kept secret, Martinez said. Tickets for fall games are between $5 and $6, he said, and fans can sit anywhere in the stadiums.
“It’s really cool,” Martinez said. “That’s eight reallys.”
Last spring, the As, Giants, Brewers, Mariners, Padres, Rangers, Royals, Dodgers, White Sox, Indians, Angels, Cubs and Diamondbacks all trained in Arizona. Martinez and an additional writer or two covered eight or more games a day during spring training.
“When spring training ended, it was a load off my shoulder,” Martinez said. “It makes the fun blog more like work.”