Baseball is back! Pitchers and catchers reported to camp last week all across the Sunshine State. While many up North are freezing in their home cities, 15 MLB squads are reporting to cities across Florida and Grapefruit League exhibition play is set to begin. Here’s a changes to take note of this Spring:
- The Houston Astros no longer train in Kissimmee and the Washington Nationals no longer train in Viera (both a bummer for us Central Floridians). Both teams are opening a new joint facility, Ballpark of The Palms, in West Palm Beach.
- Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, home of the Detroit Tigers, has undergone a $48 million renovation and the Tigers have a contract with the city of Lakeland through 2036. The Tigers have held Spring Training in Lakeland since 1934.
- The New York Yankees home at George M. Steinbrenner Field has undergone $40 million in renovations and the Yankees are locked in with the city of Tampa through 2046. The Yankees have held Spring Training in Tampa since 1996.
- The Atlanta Braves are still at Champion Stadium at Walt Disney World, but are negotiating with Sarasota for a new facility. This may be one of the final few seasons the Braves play in Central Florida.
- The World Baseball Classic kicks off on March will pull some of the leagues top stars away from Spring Training. Marlins Park in Miami will host First Round games from Pool C, which includes: United States, Canada, Columbia and Dominican Republic.
If you are looking for more details on Spring Training and would like to catch your team in action, there are several great online resources available, including: Florida Grapefruit League, Spring Training Online and Spring Training Connection.