Tag Archives: Spring Training

Ft. Myers Spring Training IV

This post is way late due to photos lost from my phone, but I had a few that survived, so here goes…

On our yearly trip to Florida, Mo and I stayed again in Ft. Myers at the same Cornerstone Resort condo we were at last year. Thanks to construction along the main drag, Ft. Myers Beach traffic was even more traffic-er than before. Still…no snow, though. And this year, we were joined for a couple days by my (retired) co-worker Ted and his wife Dixie.

Apparently attending a spring training game had been on Ted’s bucket list, so I was looking forward to treating him to the March 8th Cardinals vs. Twins game. Unfortunately, it was a Twins split squad game, plus the first day of their minor league camp, so the practice fields normally bustling with the veterans and promising prospects were empty. Still, it was a beautiful day for a game, and we both had our teams on the field.

Joe
Joe scores in the fourth

We had seats in the same location I’ve sat in the past trips to Hammond Stadium, which provided a great view of the field. The Cards went on to eventually win 5-3. We saw a little of everything, but we didn’t see Sano and Park homer, like in the other split squad game against Toronto in Dunedin.

One other disappointment with split squad games is the limited autograph opportunities. I did manage to catch one:

program
backup catcher Juan Centeno’s autograph

When it all comes down to it, though, you can’t beat the beach.

condo
the view from our lanai

Continue reading

Advertisements

Ft. Myers Spring Training — Third Edition

This year, MLB caught us off guard: we had to make our condo reservations early, and when the spring training schedules came out, the season was starting later than usual. This would call for some strategic planning…

During our Ft. Myers stay, one thing I could plan on was dropping by the practice facilities, so I picked a nice morning, fought traffic off the island, and hung out at CenturyLink Sports Complex with many other Twins fans.

practice
team gathers on the big field for drills

It was great seeing the young ballplayers — Sano and Vargas definitely stand out, size-wise.

3rd basemen
third basemen practice fielding, including Miguel Sano

The new coaches were very involved and hands-on in the drills I watched, particularly Molitor, Mientkiewicz, and Guardado. Alumni were also visible all over, including Carew and Oliva.

everyday
Coach Guardado works on fielding with the bullpen

So, what ballgame did I eventually get to? The only Twins games played in Ft. Myers while we were there were either the home opener, or against the Red Sox at their home opener the next day. There was also a road game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park up in Port Charlotte just over an hour away, though.

The ballpark was quite nice, and the weather was sunny and beautiful. When I bought my ticket earlier in the year, I looked for my traditional spot just past the dugout on the third place side, and I found a nice seat in the fourth row with a great view of the action.

ballgame
in-game action

Only one extra base bit in this game, but overall play was pretty clean and still had its share of action. The Rays ended up winning 2-1.

I was able to get three autographs on my program: Max Kepler, catcher Dan Rohlfing, and extra catcher Mitch Garver.

autos
game program

Barring a rainout, you really can’t lose when attending a Florida spring training game.

Second Annual Ft. Myers Spring Training Game – Twins 4, Cardinals 10

Once again we included a Spring Training game in our vacation at Ft. Myers, and once again we scheduled our trip to include the Cardinals March 7th visit to Hammond Stadium. The tickets I picked up were just two down from last year’s seats, fourth row just downfield from the Twins’ 3rd base dugout. The weather was sunny and ~80°F with a light breeze, so we were workin’ the sunscreen.

We were parked on Puckett Pkwy this year, and noticed Hammond Stadium again had a liberal sprinkling of Cardinal Red shirts in the capacity crowd. Who were the first ballplayers I saw when visiting the neighboring practice field?


left to right: Trevor Plouffe, Danny Valencia, Alexi Casilla, Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Continue reading

Ft. Myers, FL! Part II – Twins 7, Cardinals 6

One of the reasons we chose Ft. Myers, FL for our vacation, besides the beaches and the warm weather, was of course it’s the Spring Training home of the Minnesota Twins. A quick look at the schedule and we HAD to see the March 9th game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.


Hammond Stadium under overcast skies

The weather was overcast but a warm 72°F — a perfect day, if the sprinkles hold off. We parked on Battey Blvd, and walking to Hammond Stadium we got plenty of remarks on our attire; Mo was wearing her Cards shirt, while I wore the Twins away gray pinstripe jersey. Our response was that we had a “mixed marriage.”


one of the first things we saw was at the batting cage on the neighboring field: from left, Tony O., Gardy, and Rod Carew with a bat in hand

Continue reading