Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spring Training

It has always been a dream of mine to go to spring training. In '05 I got close. Rachel and I went to Key Biscayne for a conference and I had a free day. I rented a car and drove up to Jupiter, home of the Cards and Fish and the closest spring training site. I was going to try and see a game between the Marlins and the Red Sox (no relation) but did not have a ticket. About a half hour before game time a guy tried to sell me a ticket for about double face value. Not that unusual as there were tons of Sox fans there (they had just won the Series) but, IT WAS POURING DOWN RAIN. I did not buy the ticket, but waited out the rain in a sports bar across the street from the stadium. It never did let up, but I was able to enter the stadium and check out the field, souvenir shop, etc. without paying. I have been to Dodgertown in Vero Beach (where most of the hair is Dodger Blue) but never during spring training. And when we were in college we played a tournament one year at the Houston Astros facility in Kissamee (home of the "Kissamee Astros") but again no actual game.

Well all of that is about to change. For my birthday, Rachel snagged some Reds' Spring Training tickets for this spring, the Reds' last in Fla. as they move to Az. next year. I could not be more excited. We have pretty good seats (2-game packs went on sale this morning) to a game against Toronto and a game against Boston. If anyone has good info on where to stay while down there, etc. please let me know.

6 comments:

Graham said...

There are a lot of mom & pop motels up and down Tamiami Trail (Highway 41) near the ballpark. If you've got money to spend the hotels on Lido Key are worth it. It's a great area fairly close to the ballpark and the nearby St. Armand's Circle is a trendy and fun place to be. Actually, Sarasota is one of the best cities in the Grapefruit League. Too bad their ballpark is the worst. The good news is that McKechnie Field is just 12 miles away in Bradenton and is a great place to watch a game and enjoy spring training as how it should be. The Pirates never sell out so you don't have to get your tickets in advance. Have fun...I'm sure you will!

Dave Zahniser said...

Thanks, Graham, whoever you are. And thanks for the link to the springtraining website.

Anonymous said...

What a terrific wife you have!

Dave Zahniser said...

Thanks for reading Rachel. You are correct.

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's a great birthday present. Good job Rachel. (This is not Rachel).

Sean Schmergel said...

I went to the Yankees spring training in Tampa in '99 when they were in the midst of that great run. It was Clemens' first year with the team, and I saw his first spring start. (Now that he's been accused of PED use, it doesn't have the same lustre it once did). Spring training is so much more intimate than a regular. . .it's pretty much like seeing a MLB team in a minor league setting. You can even see the workouts for free. Highly recommended for any baseball fan. Good job Rachel!