Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Rays

Ft. Myers Spring Training V

While vacationing in Ft. Myers Beach, it was announced that Spring Training would indeed be held, and that a limited amount of fans could attend at the stadium.  With that in mind, I looked forward to maybe attending my fifth Spring Training season, so I monitored the seat availability when the time came for sale of seats not picked up by season ticket holders.  I had my eyes on the March 4th game vs. the Rays, and with luck I snagged a pair of tickets.

The weather was absolutely beautiful.  Mo and I had seats next to the tunnel, with no one else in our row and an empty row between the fans seated in front of us and behind us.  MOST people wore their masks when they were supposed to, particularly on the concourses; not as well in the seats, but not bad.  Even so, we still felt safe enough throughout.

spring training
beautiful seats, beautiful weather

Having one quarter of the fans means that there was only one quarter of the cars in the parking lot to deal with, one quarter of the crowd at the concessions, etc, so there was that.

The game wasn’t all that cleanly played (it WAS Spring Training, after all), but there was plenty of action, and an Alex Kirilloff double off the right centerfield wall.

kirilloff
Kirilloff doesn’t get all of that one!

The Twins ended up losing 5-2, but with the beautiful weather and the opportunity to return to something like normal, we had a super day at the park.

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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.