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Monday, February 14, 2011
A quick fan guide to Surprise, Arizona

By Richard Durrett

Are you coming to Surprise, Ariz., for spring training? If so, here are some links and information you might find helpful as you plan your trip:

* Pitchers and catchers report on Wednesday. From the end of this week through most of March, players will be working out on the back fields of Surprise. That includes the Major League club and the minors. Those sessions are free and it's a great chance to see some of your favorite players up close in a relaxed atmosphere.

* Trying to get autographs? The best time to do that is during those morning workouts. Sometimes they'll sign before they go to various stations, but many times you can have good luck getting them right after the workouts are completed as they start to gather and head back to the clubhouse.

* Where can you eat in Surprise? Back when the Rangers and Royals first opened the Surprise Complex there was really next to nothing in terms of food. It gets better every year (and when I get there, I'll update you more on that as new places pop up). Here is a link of restaurants that you can look at by type. I won't single out any particular restaurant on the blog (out of fairness), but if you email me at rdurrettjr@aol.com and are wondering about some specific types, I can help you.

* What is there to do in Surprise? Check out the official city link here and the chamber of commerce web site here. There are plenty of parks and some huge playgrounds for the kids after the activity at the park is over.

* Tickets to the games can be purchased here at the club's website. My recommendation would be to pick out some games and order those tickets now. Ticket sales were up 47 percent from last year as of last week, so don't wait around. For those that haven't been, the stadium and complex is one of the nicest in Arizona for spring training.

You can keep up with all the Rangers spring training action here at ESPNDallas.com and on 103.3 (FM) ESPN, the official home of the Rangers all season. You can also follow me on twitter @espn_durrett to check out various notes and video from spring training.