Spring Training: Let’s Play Ball!

The Braves play in Lake Buena Vista during Spring Training

Spring Training is in full swing in Central Florida

Having such an extremely cold winter, I, for one, am ready for Spring! I’m sick of the cold, but then, I’ve lived in Florida so long anything below 80° is cold. One sign that spring is on its way is the commencement of Spring Training Baseball. Oh yeah! The smell of hot dogs, the pinging sound of a bat making contact, and an umpire yelling, “Let’s play ball!”

If you’re here on vacation, maybe your home team is training nearby. Many major league teams hold spring training camps and exhibition games in Florida. It gives tourists a chance to check out the new lineups while here on vacation. Many locals check on their home team – the Marlins or Devil Rays, as well as their favorite adversary.

Here’s where they play at:
Florida Marlins & St. Louis Cardinals @ Jupiter
Boston Red Sox @ Ft. Myers
Toronto Blue Jays @ Dunedin
Minnesota Twins @ Lee County
Pittsburg Pirates @ Bradenton
Baltimore Orioles @ Sarasota
NY Mets @ Port St. Lucie
Philadelphia Phillies @ Clearwater
Washington Nationals @ Viera, FL
NY Yankees @ Tampa
Tampa Bay Devil Rays @ Port Charlotte

Closer to Central Florida:
At Disney’s Wide World of Sports you have the Atlanta Braves on the roster. The Houston Astros are in the dug-out in Kissimmee at the Osceola County Stadium. And the Tigers make their spring home in Lakeland at the Joker Marchant Stadium. The Disney Sports Complex is a wonderful venue and hosts many other sports which can often be seen once your ticket gets you into the venue. ESPN’s own Wide World of Sports Grill is fun with large screen TV’s and a menu to suit all ages, yet a little pricey. The Osceola County Stadium is newly built and easy to get to via the FL Turnpike. It’s been awhile since attending a game in Lakeland. I remember getting lost getting to the venue, but had a great time once we were there. With GPS and online maps, it’s easier to find. In fact they recently had the second-largest crowd ever attend a game there.

Spring Training tickets are fairly inexpensive ($15 & up) and a day out at the ballpark may just be what your winter-weary spirit is calling for. So root, root, root for the home team, whichever park you may go. Peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jacks; I don’t care if Winter ever comes back!!

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