Spring practice baseball is part of Florida life every February and March in Florida. Fifteen major league teams have now trained in Florida, but 14 of them are in line from central Florida to the southern state. It becomes a bigger business every year, and this year we can expect bigger ball parks and better facilities than last year. There is a lot of competition between cities in central and south Florida to host a major league team, and they seem to spare no expense to make everything first class.
What I think is the most interesting aspect of spring baseball practice, especially in parts of Florida, is that you can see multiple teams within a short drive. Fort Myers is home to the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, so for baseball hungry people who were away from the game since the previous fall, there’s always something to see when you’re in this area. Houston, Atlanta, and Detroit all play close to Orlando, so when things start in March, it’s possible to catch a few games a day, but never in the same park.
March is when the games are played and they draw pretty decent crowds. In 2014, the Houston Astros averaged the weakest crowds in the Grapefruit League at just under 4,000 per game. The Yankees were on the high-end line with almost 10,000 spectators on average, which means if you decide to go to the ballpark, get tickets early because it will get crowded.
But for me the funniest part is February before the games start. The barriers between fans and players during their preseason routines are minimal, and it’s fascinating how talented these young guys are. You could argue that February’s spring training has a fan-friendliness you won’t find in any other professional sport. But to get the most out of it, you need to plan ahead. The MLB website has a lot of information about each team, so it’s easy to know what time players will be on the field to practice.
It’s possible to get autographs and jokes with players right now, as everything is generally pretty easy going. But you also have to respect these players because they are professionals preparing for the season. I think for anyone getting away from the inclement weather of the North and heading to Central or South Florida, if you like baseball, this should be something you should try at least once.
Source by Glen Wheaton