Fantasy camps now embrace many sports, from basketball and football to professional wrestling and bull riding. But it's the national pastime that has generated the most camps.
About 20 baseball fantasy camps are scheduled from mid-January to mid-February 2002 in Florida and Arizona. For a complete list of adult baseball camps, visit www.hihard1.com.
Prices range from $2,900 for the San Diego Padres camp, Feb. 3-10 in Peoria, Ariz., to $4,300 for the Colorado Rockies bash, Feb. 4-9 in Tucson. The Cincinnati Reds camp, which runs Feb. 10-17, (1-800-755-7337; www.redsbaseballheaven.com, is the last winter affair; the $3,800 price tag includes airfare to Sarasota, Fla., from anywhere in the continental United States.
The Dodgers camp (1-800-334-7529) is one of the oldest camps, having started in 1983, and is one of the few camps run by the team rather than by an outside company. The $4,200 price includes connections between one of three Florida airports and Dodgertown, all meals from Tuesday night through Monday morning, 50 personalized baseball cards and a video of camp highlights.
If you'd rather pitch from the fairway than the mound (or prefer the squeak of the hardwood to the crack of the bat), you can still play alongside pro athletes at a fantasy camp.
At the Knicks Dream Week or 76ers Dream Week ($2,995; 1-800-888-4376), both to be held Sept. 22-26 in Atlantic City, campers will play alongside all-time greats such as Walt Frazier and Moses Malone.
The Atlanta Falcons will offer a football fantasy camp Feb. 28 through March 3 ($1,995; 1-888-901-7529). Participants will play flag football with and against former Falcons at the team's current training facility, have their own lockers and uniforms, and rub elbows with the players.
At the Richard Petty Driving Experience (1-800-237-3889), prices range from $90 for riding shotgun to up to $3,000 to get behind the wheel of a stock car on one of 25 racetracks across the country.
Tennis fans can join Chris Evert at the Evert Tennis Academy, in Boca Raton, Fla., on Feb. 8, for a fantasy day with the WTA legend ($5,000; 1-800-417-3783). The day includes a doubles tournament with Evert and other academy professionals.
At the Ultimate Golf Adventure ($3,295; 1-800-790-2227), campers will receive instruction from tour pro Gary Koch and others, along with competitive rounds, meals and three nights' lodging at Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club. Dates for 2002 have not yet been set.