View Full Version : Looking for any tips to enhance my Spring Training experience
03-03-06, 04:03 AM
Hello, I'd like a little guidance from the Florida veterans about the best way to experience spring training. Although I've been to Spring Training 4 or 5 times and am going again on Sunday, I don't feel like I've experienced it to the fullest. I get there in the morning, wait by the fence, watch the workouts, occassionally get a low-level autograph, then watch the game and leave. What am I missing here?
What time should I get to Legends for a home day game, if I want the optimal position for autographs and just seeing the players up close and personal? How about a home night game...are they still there in the morning, where's the best place to go during the day? Do any of the players stay at hotels where I could wait in a lobby to meet someone? Any tips anyone has gleaned from past experience would be really helpful, I'd like to make this my best Spring Training adventure yet! Thanks a lot.
03-03-06, 09:10 AM
Okay here is what i learned last year.
The senior citizens at Legends Field that are security are going to yell at you no matter what, so what you have to do is tune them out OR get a distraction so you can get down to the field level for autographs if that is what you are into.
Stay till the end of every game and wait for everyone to mostly leave if you can. Last year I did that and Big Stein came out, sat at a table and met and took pictures with everyone who was still in the ballpark, it was a great experience.
If you get yelled at for something, don't be afraid to try again in a different area, they don't always see you trying to sneak around.
The front row ticket holders usually get mad if you make it down to the field level to get up close, ignore them too, don't let them ruin your experience.
The Phillies ballpark in Clearwater is a great place to see a game.
Go to the ticket booth whenever you can and there is no line, sometimes people hand in tickets and they have just become availble, this is often hit or miss but it worked for my Dad's friend at the Toronto park, they had second row seats right next to the Yankee dugout.
Those are my tips, hope they help.
03-03-06, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the tip New Era, but I'm looking more for tips about things I can do before and after games...during games I don't really like to be hounding people for autographs and missing the action. Can anyone else help?
03-03-06, 12:58 PM
I think you have to get there early in the morning to get autographs.
03-03-06, 01:48 PM
There is a really mean, grumpy old man that works the parking lot right in front of the stadium. If you catch him early in the day before he gets busy and, therefore, extra grumpy, he is a great source of information. He knows what time workouts are and, often, which players are at which field. I think you will have more luck with him if you are a girl or have a kid.
I met Ron Guidry at the Radisson Bay Harbor last year. Someone (George?) met Yogi there. Steinbrenner used to own it and a lot of the old-timers have stayed there in the past.
Just for something to do not game related, if you have not already been, check the Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame in Hernando, Fla., about 60 miles north of Tampa. You may also want to check out Huggins-Stengel Field about a mile north of downtown St. Petersburg. Huggins-Stengel reminds me Field of Dreams. It's an open field with a lake and a water tower. It has not changed much since it was the ST field for Ruth and Gehrig. The field was named for Miller Huggins and at some point Casey Stengel was added to the name. There are monuments for both. A number of MLB teams have trained there but now it is just high school and college teams playing there.
03-03-06, 06:13 PM
Thanks Yankeebot. So what's the best time to get there in the morning before a day game to catch the players before the masses arrive?
03-03-06, 10:32 PM
I haven't been to a game at Legends but I've been there 4 years in a row for workouts..... I would say for a 1 pm home game, I would be at the side field around 9 am to possibly catch some guys working out early. I would also go to the field on an away game as players stay behind to work out. Ron Guidry doesn't stay at the Radisson anymore (I stayed there this year).... I met Cano there and Mickey Rivers this year at the Radisson. Supposedly players aren't allowed to sign on the way out of the players parking lot at Legends.... but sometimes Steinbrenner stops to sign. There's a security guard named Edwin, he is really cool, helped me out a few times.... and then there's a guy with his arms all tattooed who is pretty cool. Goodluck
03-04-06, 01:15 AM
Thanks, that's very helpful. I'll definitely check out the Radisson, and yeah, I remember that security guard with the tattooed arms, pretty intimidating figure. One more thing, on the day of a home night game, what do the players do? Do they just get there at 3 or something, or are they still working out during the day?
03-04-06, 07:41 AM
I live down here in Florida, except on the eastern coast between Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, but there was an insert in the paper all about the Yanks ST. Try going to IHOP for breakfast. The insert in the Palm Beach Post says the Boss goes there all the time and the other Yanks go every so often. There was also a restaurant listed where they frequent for dinner, but I can't remember the name. I'm sure if you wanted to know badly enough, you could find it on the Palm Beach Post's website. The insert was in the paper at the beginning of the week.
What you are missing here is to just go to the games. Arrive no more than an hour before the game and stay for the full 9 innings. Then go back to your hotel.
Stay in a hotel in the Gulf coast region area. Anywhere from treasure Island, Madiera Beach, Indian Beach, Sand Island, Clearwater Beach or Duneaden and enjoy the water (either the Hotel Pool or the Gulf). Go Fishing, sightseeing or whatever. Forget hanginging around the arrogent players or trying to get an autograph. Enjoy the area. That's what I do, and I have a fantastic time, everytime.
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