The Ultimate Gift For The Ultimate Fan


Well-heeled and searching for that just-right Christmas gift for the athlete in your life?

Arizona Diamondbacks Coordinator for Outreach and Development Jeff Swanson called the Payson Roundup last week with what might be the perfect holiday present.


The Arizona Diamondbacks will host a fantasy camp for baseball fans.

It is a "Live the Dream" Fantasy Baseball Camp to be held Jan. 15 to 21 at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.

Swanson calls the camp the ultimate treat for the ultimate fan.

For the entire week, campers will live the life of a major league ball player, participating in clinics, batting practice workouts, skill contests, practices, press photo sessions and a Jan. 19 double header.

Swanson says campers will be drafted, sign contracts and report to spring training as the newest member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In the locker room, they'll find personalized lockers with Arizona home and away uniforms inscribed with their names.

Stars at the camp will include Matt Williams, Todd Stottlemyer, Mark Grace, Joe Garagiola, Sr. and others.

The coaches will include members of the current Diamondback major and minor league staffs.

Swanson promises the camp will turn dreams into realities.

The six-day package includes transportation and hotel accommodations at J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort, big league clubhouse service and training staff, daily bull sessions with the faces of the D-backs, a camp reunion party at a 2006 Diamondbacks game, daily breakfast and lunch and an awards banquet.

The price tag for the fantasy experience is $3,500.

Remember, I asked at the onset if the reader was well-heeled.

Camp brochures are available at the Payson Roundup, 708 N. Beeline Highway.

For more information, call Swanson at (602) 462-6528.

Shoot 'em up

A black powder rifle and pistol shoot will be held Nov. 9 to 13 south of Rye. It will not be at the trap range as earlier reported, but rather at another site east of the Beeline near FR 419. Signs will be posted.

Among the events to be held are pistol shoots, trail walks, squirrel shoots, a mountain-man run, shotgun shoots and junior shoots.

Skill demonstrations will be held Friday and Saturday, and traders with antique and early American items are welcome. Vendors must check in before setting up. The fee for a family is $30, which includes a Saturday evening chili dinner; for singles, the fee is $20.

All campsites are dry, so participants should bring their own water and firewood.

For more information, call Pete Waichulaitis at (480) 833-2788 or Mac McCurdy, (602) 989-2772.

TRSC beckons

The Tonto Rim Sports Club has issued an invitation to anyone interested in shooting to join their club. Membership in the TRSC is open to any United States citizen, and the yearly membership dues are $35.

TRSC meetings are held at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at the Payson American Legion building. All guests are welcome.

The sports club was founded in 1979 for the purpose of encouraging organized and safe shooting among Rim Country sportsmen.

Members are taught safe handling and proper care of firearms and have the opportunity to improve marksmanship on the range.

TRSC's creed states, "It is a further purpose of the club to foster the development of those characteristics of honesty, good fellowship, self-discipline, team play and self-reliance. These are the essentials of good sportsmanship and the foundation of patriotism."

The range TRSC oversees has its roots in 1981 as the Northern Gila County Shooting Range.

Since its inception, the range has been developed, maintained and operated by TRSC.

A few years ago, the facility was renamed the Jim Jones Shooting Range in honor of the former Gila County supervisor who worked to secure a lease with the U.S. Forest Service for the facility and designed the range.

In addition to hosting public and club member shooting activities, the range is used by several law enforcement agencies, including the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Payson Police Department, Gila County Sheriff's Office, Arizona Game and Fish, U.S. Forest Service, National Guard and the FBI.

The facility features three ranges -- high power rifle, covered training and archery.

On the high power range, all rifles are allowed and target frames are set up at 100 and 200 yards.

The covered training range is for pistols only, but rifles may be used during training or match shooting.

No firearms are allowed on the archery range, and target frames are located at 50 and 60 yards.

For more information about the range or TRSC, call Otto Weeden at (928) 472-4279.

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