In Major League Baseball (MLB), spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives established players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warm climates of Arizona and Florida to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many US college students.
Spring training typically starts in mid-February and continues until just before Opening Day of the regular season, traditionally the first week of April. In some years, teams not scheduled to play on Opening Day will play spring training games that day. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period. A few days later, position players arrive and team practice begins. Exhibition games usually begin around the first of March.
Spring training by major league teams in sites other than their regular season game sites first became popular in the 1890s and by 1910 was in wide use. Hot Springs, Arkansas has been called the original "birthplace" of Spring Training baseball. The location of Hot Springs and the concept of getting the players ready for the upcoming season was the brainchild of Chicago White Stockings (today's Chicago Cubs) team President Albert Spalding and Cap Anson. In 1886, the White Stockings traveled to Hot Springs to prepare for the upcoming season. After holding spring training at the Hot Springs Baseball Grounds, the White Stockings went on to have a successful season and other teams took notice. In subsequent years other teams joined Chicago and began holding spring training in Hot Springs, leading to the first spring training games. The Cleveland Spiders, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox followed the White Stockings to Hot Springs. Whittington Field/Ban Johnson Park (1894), Majestic Park (1909), and Fogel Field (1912) were all built in Hot Springs to host Major League teams.
Famously, on St. Patrick's Day, 1918, a young successful pitcher named Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was forced to play an emergency game at first base in a Spring Training game against Pittsburgh. This game possibly changed the course of baseball history, as it was the first time Ruth had ever played any position other than pitcher. Ruth responded by hitting two home runs that day in Hot Springs, and the second was a 573-foot shot that landed across the street from Whittington Park in a pond of the Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo. The Red Sox took notice and soon Ruth was playing the field more often. Over 130 Major League Baseball Hall of Famers, including such names as Ruth, Cy Young, Cap Anson, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Walter Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Dizzy Dean, Jimmie Foxx, and Stan Musial all trained in Hot Springs Spring Training. The First Boys of Spring is a 2015 documentary about Hot Springs Spring Training. The film was narrated by area native, actor Billy Bob Thornton, and produced by filmmaker Larry Foley. The documentary began airing nationally on the MLB Network in February, 2016.
Early training sites include the St. Louis Cardinals in Hot Springs and Tulsa, Oklahoma; the New York Yankees in New Orleans and later Phoenix, Arizona, when the team was owned by Del Webb; the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles when owned by William Wrigley Jr.; the St. Louis Browns and later the Kansas City Athletics in San Diego and then in West Palm Beach, Florida; the Pittsburgh Pirates in Honolulu and other teams joined in by the early 1940s. The Detroit Tigers are credited with being the first team to conduct spring training camp in Arizona. They trained in Phoenix at Riverside Park at Central Avenue and the Salt River in 1929.
The Philadelphia Phillies were the first of the current major-league teams to train in Florida, when they spent two weeks in Jacksonville, Florida in 1889. Spring training in Florida began in earnest in 1913, when the Chicago Cubs trained in Tampa and the Cleveland Indians in Pensacola. One year later, two other teams moved to Florida for spring training, the real start of the Grapefruit League. Except for a couple of years during World War II, when travel restrictions prevented teams training south of the Potomac and Ohio rivers, Florida hosted more than half of the spring training teams through 2009. Since 2010, major league teams have been equally divided between Arizona and Florida during spring training, with 15 teams in Florida and 15 teams in Arizona. All but six of the major league teams have gone to spring training in Florida at one time or another. Many of the most famous players in baseball history (Ruth, Gehrig, Musial, Cobb, Mays, DiMaggio, Berra, Mantle, and many more) have called Florida home for 4–6 weeks every spring.
According to the autobiography of former Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck, the avoidance of racism was one reason the Cactus League was established. In 1947, Veeck was the owner of the minor league Milwaukee Brewers and the team trained in Ocala, Florida. Veeck inadvertently sat in the Black section of the segregated stands and engaged in conversation with a couple of fans. According to Veeck's book, the local law enforcement told Veeck he could not sit in that section, and then called the Ocala mayor when Veeck argued back. The mayor finally backed down when Veeck threatened to take his team elsewhere for spring training and promised to let the country know why.
Veeck sold the Brewers in 1945 and retired to his ranch in Tucson, Arizona, but soon purchased the Cleveland Indians in 1946. He decided to buck tradition and train the Indians in Tucson and convinced the New York Giants to give Phoenix a try. Thus the Cactus League was born. Veeck then signed Larry Doby to the Indians. Doby was the second African-American to play MLB in the 20th century, and the first for the American League.
While Florida and Arizona now host all Major League Baseball teams for spring training, this has not always been the case. Especially in the early 20th century, baseball clubs did not build facilities dedicated to spring training and would use local facilities in various cities, sometimes changing spring training sites on an annual basis. The Cleveland Indians, for example, held spring trainings in seven different cities - including New Orleans, Dallas, and Macon, Georgia - between 1902 and 1922. This was not uncommon at the time.
During World War II, most teams held an abbreviated spring training within easy reach of their cities. In order to conserve rail transport during the war, 1943's Spring Training was limited to an area east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River. The Chicago White Sox held camp in French Lick, Indiana; the Washington Senators in College Park, Maryland; and the New York Yankees in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
After World War II, some teams trained outside of the United States. The Brooklyn Dodgers trained in Havana, Cuba in 1947 and 1949, and in the Dominican Republic in 1948. The New York Yankees also trained in the early 1950s in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Spring training camps and games were also held in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and various cities of northern Mexico, sometimes by visiting major league teams in the 1950s and 1960s.
Before and shortly after big league baseball reached the West Coast, a number of teams trained in the state of California or along the state line. The Chicago Cubs trained on Catalina Island in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. For example, early in their history, the then-California Angels held spring training in Palm Springs, California from 1961 to 1993, the San Diego Padres in Yuma, Arizona from 1969 to 1993, the Oakland Athletics in Las Vegas in the 1970s, and various major league teams had trained in El Centro, Riverside, and San Bernardino.
The concept of spring training is not limited to North America; the Japanese professional baseball leagues' teams adopted spring training and preseason game sites across East Asia such as South Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan; the Pacific Islands (most notably in Hawaii); and two cities in the United States: Salinas, California and Yuma, Arizona on the Mexican border.
Generally, teams train in either Florida or Arizona based on their geographic location in the U.S., with eastern teams playing in Florida and western teams training in Arizona; the exceptions being the Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, and the two Chicago-based teams all training in Arizona; and the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals training in Florida. The last west-coast team to train in Florida was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who moved to Arizona in 2009.
In modern training, teams that train in Florida will play other Florida-training teams in their exhibition games, regardless of regular-season league affiliations. Likewise, Arizona-training teams will play other Arizona teams. These have been nicknamed the Grapefruit League and Cactus League, respectively, after plants typical of the respective states.
Spring training teams can play colleges, minor league baseball clubs, intra-squad games (members of the same team play against each other), split-squad games (games when one team is scheduled for two games in one day, so the team splits into two squads and each squad plays in one of the games), and B Games (unofficial Spring Training games where statistics and standings are not counted). In years when the World Baseball Classic occurs, the national teams in the tournament prepare by playing major league teams. The players union will sometimes field a team if many free agents are unsigned by the start of spring training.
The origin of the name "Grapefruit League" has several versions. One popular myth was that Casey Stengel threw a grapefruit at Brooklyn Dodgers manager Wilbert Robinson. The accepted version is that aviator Ruth Law threw the grapefruit. In 1915, Law had been throwing golf balls from her airplane to advertise a golf course. Someone suggested throwing a baseball from her airplane. Robinson, whose team was in the Daytona Beach area for spring training, agreed to try to catch the baseball. Flying 525 feet above Robinson, Law realized she had forgotten her baseball and threw a grapefruit that she had. When Robinson tried to catch it, the grapefruit exploded in his face.
The list of spring training locations by team in the Grapefruit League in Florida.
|Atlanta Braves||Champion Stadium||Lake Buena Vista|
|Baltimore Orioles||Ed Smith Stadium||Sarasota|
|Boston Red Sox||JetBlue Park at Fenway South||Fort Myers|
|Detroit Tigers||Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium||Lakeland|
|Houston Astros||FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches||West Palm Beach|
|Miami Marlins||Roger Dean Stadium||Jupiter|
|Minnesota Twins||Hammond Stadium||Fort Myers|
|New York Mets||First Data Field||Port St. Lucie|
|New York Yankees||George M. Steinbrenner Field||Tampa|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Spectrum Field||Clearwater|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||LECOM Park||Bradenton|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Roger Dean Stadium||Jupiter|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Charlotte Sports Park||Port Charlotte|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Dunedin Stadium||Dunedin|
|Washington Nationals||FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches||West Palm Beach|
Unlike the Grapefruit League, teams in the Cactus League often share stadiums; of the 15 teams who train in Arizona, only the Cubs, Angels, Brewers, Giants and A's have their own home stadiums.
According to the Arizona Republic, the Cactus League generates more than $300 million a year in economic impact to the greater Phoenix metropolitan area economy. The Arizona Republic newspaper reports that more than $500 million has been spent on "building eight new stadiums and renovating two others for the 15 teams in the Valley."
Attendance set a new record at 2011 Cactus League games with 1.59 million attending games at the various stadiums in the Phoenix metro area. Much of the attendance surge is attributed to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick venue that accounted for 22 percent of the Cactus League attendance.
The list of spring training locations by team in the Cactus League in Arizona.
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Salt River Fields at Talking Stick||Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community|
|Chicago Cubs||Sloan Park||Mesa|
|Chicago White Sox||Camelback Ranch||Glendale|
|Cincinnati Reds||Goodyear Ballpark||Goodyear|
|Cleveland Indians||Goodyear Ballpark||Goodyear|
|Colorado Rockies||Salt River Fields at Talking Stick||Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community|
|Kansas City Royals||Surprise Stadium||Surprise|
|Los Angeles Angels||Tempe Diablo Stadium||Tempe|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Camelback Ranch||Glendale|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Maryvale Baseball Park||Phoenix|
|Oakland Athletics||Hohokam Stadium||Mesa|
|San Diego Padres||Peoria Sports Complex||Peoria|
|San Francisco Giants||Scottsdale Stadium||Scottsdale|
|Seattle Mariners||Peoria Sports Complex||Peoria|
|Texas Rangers||Surprise Stadium||Surprise|
Statistics are recorded during spring training games, but they are not combined with the listed statistics for regular season games, and unusual performances which would have broken records if accomplished during the regular season are considered to be unofficial.
For example, on March 14, 2000, the Red Sox used six pitchers to achieve a 5–0 perfect game victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. A perfect game is considered a crowning accomplishment during the regular season or postseason, but in spring training it attracts little notice. Starting pitcher Pedro Martínez, who lost a perfect game in extra innings in 1995 while pitching for the former Montreal Expos, was talking to reporters at the conclusion of the game, rather than watching the final pitches. Reliever Rod Beck, who finished the game, did not realize the nature of his accomplishment until informed by catcher Joe Sidall. Many fans also left before the game's conclusion.
Although spring training statistics are unofficial, teams frequently use players' spring training performances as a way of assigning starting roles and roster spots on the club.
Minor league players participate in spring training following a telescoped schedule that generally lasts from March 1–31. At its conclusion, most players are assigned to full-season Class A, AA, or AAA farm team rosters to begin the regular minor league season. However, those players deemed unready for a full-season campaign—through inexperience or injury—are assigned to "extended spring training", a structured program of workouts, rehabilitation sessions, simulated games, and exhibition games based in the major league parent team's minor league training complex. If a player is deemed ready to participate in full-season league action, he is promoted to an appropriate-level farm club. When the "short season" Class A and rookie leagues begin play in late June, extended spring training players are assigned to those rosters, placed on the disabled list, or released.
Al Lang Stadium is a 7,500-seat sports stadium in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida that is the current home pitch of the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the United Soccer League (USL). It was used almost exclusively as a baseball park for over 60 years. However, since the Rowdies moved to the facility in 2011, it has been reconfigured to better host soccer.
Al Lang Stadium was built in 1947 at the site of an older facility known as St. Petersburg Athletic Park. It is named in honor of Al Lang, a former mayor of St. Petersburg who was instrumental in bringing minor league and spring training baseball to the city in the early 20th century. The ballpark was reconstructed in 1976 and was extensively renovated before the Tampa Bay Devil Rays began using it as their first spring training venue in 1998. The Devil Rays / Rays were the last of a long series of Major League Baseball clubs to conduct spring training and host an affiliated minor league team at Al Lang Stadium and St. Petersburg's previous ballparks. Before the Rays, tenants included the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, and the Baltimore Orioles, amongst others. The stadium hosted its last spring training game in March 2008 and was the site of occasional amateur and exhibition baseball for the next several years.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies became the primary tenant in 2011, and Al Lang Stadium was incrementally modified into a better soccer venue over each of the following off-seasons. Since October 2014, an agreement between the club and the city of St. Petersburg has made the stadium a soccer-only facility, and the Rowdies' ownership conducted an extensive renovation in early 2015. In 2016, Rowdies' majority owner Bill Edwards proposed greatly expanding the stadium's capacity to 18,000 seats as part of a bid to move his club into Major League Soccer (MLS). In May 2017, a local referendum passed authorizing the city of St. Petersburg to negotiate a long-term lease with the team to help make the project possible.In October 2018, the Rowdies were purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays, which gave the baseball club control of Al Lang Stadium through the transfer of the existing lease with the city of St. Petersburg.Ban Johnson Park
Ban Johnson Park was a baseball stadium located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, within the Whittington Park Historic District, a "tree-shaded greenway" that is located along Whittington Creek, which runs down the center island of Whittington Avenue. The location of the ballpark was across from the still active Arkansas Alligator Farm and Petting Zoo (built 1902).Originally known as Whittington Park, the field served as a training site for many Major League Baseball teams, by hosting spring training games and serving as home for minor league teams. In 1918, Babe Ruth hit a 573-foot home run at the park, while a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. The park was also home to the ever first Umpire School. In 1935, Ray Doan, the operator of a youth instructional camp at Whittington Park, renamed the park after Hall of Fame baseball pioneer Ban Johnson, founder of the American League.Camelback Ranch
Camelback Ranch–Glendale is a stadium in Phoenix, Arizona owned by the city of Glendale, Arizona and operated by Camelback Spring Training LLC. It is the spring training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. The stadium holds 13,000 people.
Camelback Ranch replaces Holman Stadium in Vero Beach, Florida as the Dodgers' spring training home, and Tucson Electric Park in Tucson, Arizona as the White Sox spring training home.
The park is also home to the Arizona League Dodgers, who moved to Camelback Ranch with the Major League team in 2009. The Arizona League White Sox play there as of 2014, after the White Sox rejoined the Arizona rookie circuit.
The stadium name is derived from the longstanding name of the property it is built on.Roger Bossard, White Sox head groundskeeper, designed and put in all of the fields for the Dodgers and the White Sox. During the park's first year, Dodgers fans noted and expressed their dismay at the absence of the Dodger Dog at the ballpark concession stands. The following season, Dodger Dogs began to be sold at the ballpark.Clearwater Athletic Field
Clearwater Athletic Field was a stadium in Clearwater, Florida. It was first used by professional baseball teams for spring training in 1923 and was the Phillies' first spring training ballpark in Clearwater. The grandstand sat approximately 2,000 and bleachers increased capacity to close to 3,000. Home plate was located on Pennsylvania Avenue, which ran south to north along the third base line, near Seminole Street. Left field ran parallel to Palmetto Street, and right field ran parallel to Greenwood Ave. The grandstand was destroyed by fire in April 1956.The North Greenwood Recreation and Aquatic Complex now stands on the site of ballpark. On March 19, 2016, the site of the ballpark was recognized as a Florida Heritage Site and the location added to the state's heritage map.Coffee Pot Park
Coffee Pot Park was a ballpark in St. Petersburg, Florida home to the St. Petersburg Saints minor-league baseball team until 1928, and spring training home of the St. Louis Browns and Philadelphia Phillies. Capacity was approximately 850 for baseball. The park was called by the name of Coffee Pot Bayou to which it was near. The field was also used by local high school teams and for amateur softball. The ballpark was replaced in 1922 by Waterfront Park as the home to spring training in St. Pete.
John C. Skipper, in his book Wicked Curve, describes Coffee Pot Park as follows,
The park itself was about as plain as its name, with one shower (that produced only cold water) and a wooden grandstand that held about 500 people – if 400 of them were thin. The park was on a bayou, and many of the players brought fishing poles to the ballpark and threw in a line to relax between practices.Ed Smith Stadium
Ed Smith Stadium is a baseball field located in Sarasota, Florida. Since 2010, it has been the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles.Flamingo Field
Flamingo Field was a ballpark at the corner of 15th Street and Michigan Avenue in Miami Beach, Florida home to Miami Beach minor-league clubs and the spring training home of the New York Giants in 1934 and 1935, the Philadelphia Phillies from 1940 to 1942, and again in 1946, and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947. Capacity was approximately 3,000 for baseball. The center field fence was 386 feet from homeplate. The park was also referred to as "Flamingo Park" which is also the name of the area in which it was located.
Flamingo Field was home to the Class D Florida East Coast League Miami Tigers in 1940, who changed their nickname to the Miami Beach Flamingos in 1941 and won the League championship that year. The FECL folded in May 1942 due to World War II. After the War, the Flamingos joined the new Class C Florida International League in 1946. The Flamingos played the 1952 season, sat-out 1953, and rejoined in 1954 only to move across Biscayne Bay to Miami during the 1954 season.
In addition to baseball, the field was used for multiple purposes. Duquesne practiced at Flamingo Field in December 1936 prior to the 1937 Orange Bowl. The Georgia Bulldogs football team practiced at Flamingo Field in December 1941 prior to the 1942 Orange Bowl in which they defeated TCU.
When the Phillies held spring training at the ballpark in 1942, box seats cost $1.65, the grandstand was $1.10, and bleacher seats $0.55.In 1956, the field was rundown but was being used by the Miami Beach and St. Patrick's high school baseball teams.J. P. Small Memorial Stadium
J. P. Small Memorial Stadium is a baseball park in Jacksonville, Florida. It is located in the Durkeeville community in northwest Jacksonville. Constructed in 1912 and rebuilt in 1936, it was the city's first municipal recreation field, and served as its primary baseball park before the construction of Wolfson Park in 1954. Throughout the years the stadium has been known at various times as Barrs Field, Durkee Field, and the Myrtle Avenue Ball Park.Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium
Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium is a baseball stadium in Tucson, Arizona. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox formerly utilized the park for Cactus League games each March and had their minor league complexes on-site. It was also home to the Tucson Sidewinders of the Pacific Coast League for the team's last decade in Tucson, running from the stadium's 1998 opening season to the 2008 season. During that time, it was known as Tucson Electric Park or TEP.
The stadium was a temporary home (2011–2013) to the Tucson Padres (formerly the Portland Beavers) of the Pacific Coast League during the team's relocation to El Paso, Texas. It was also the regular season home of the Pecos League's Tucson Saguaros baseball team from 2016 to 2017. It seats 11,500 fans. Concerts are often held at the stadium as well. It is now the preseason home of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls and co-host with Kino North Stadium of the Desert Diamond Cup preseason soccer tournament. The stadium has also hosted Mexican League spring training games.LECOM Park
LECOM Park is a baseball field located in Bradenton, Florida. It is the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is named after 15-year naming rights deal was signed with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has its main campus in Erie, Pennsylvania and also a campus in Bradenton. It was formerly known as McKechnie Field, named for Bradenton resident and Baseball Hall of Fame great Bill McKechnie, who led the Pirates in 1925 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1940 to World Series titles. He was also a coach of the Cleveland Indians in 1948. Several notable members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, such as Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mike Schmidt, have played at LECOM Park during their careers. The stadium also hosts minor league baseball games for the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates' High-A club in the Florida State League.
LECOM Park's nostalgic charms in its city neighborhood appeal to many baseball traditionalists and ballpark enthusiasts, and some consider the facility to be Florida's version of Fenway Park. It is built in a Florida Spanish Mission style, with white stucco on the main grandstand and cover bleachers over the reserved seating section. The Pirates and the City of Bradenton celebrated their 40th anniversary together during the 2008 spring training season, which included an agreement between the city and the Pirates to continue their partnership through 2037.
The field is currently the oldest stadium used for spring training as well as the second-oldest in the Florida State League (behind Jackie Robinson Ballpark, built in 1914). It is also the third oldest stadium currently used by a major league team after Fenway Park, built in 1912, and Wrigley Field in 1914.The stadium also formerly hosted an annual charity game between the Pirates and the State College of Florida, Manatee–Sarasota. Several improvements to the field were also made possible through the efforts of the Bradenton Boosters, a volunteer club of local residents that not only raises funds for ballpark improvements, but also operate LECOM Park on game day. Since 1979, members of the Boosters have volunteered as the Pirates spring training game-day staff. The booster club's 120 members currently serve as ushers, program sellers, security personnel, merchandise sellers, and press box attendants throughout spring training season.Majestic Park
Majestic Park (1908–18) was one of the first Major League Baseball spring training facilities and was located at the corner of Belding Street and Carson Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Today the site is still in use by Champion Christian College.
First built by the Detroit Tigers as a practice field in 1908, Majestic Park was the spring training site of the Boston Red Sox and their star pitcher Babe Ruth (1909–10, 1912–18), Cincinnati Reds (1910–11), Brooklyn Dodgers (1910) and St. Louis Browns (1911). The location later became the site of Dean Field (1935–47)/Jaycee Park (1947–present). Dean Field also served as home to the Rogers Hornsby Baseball College.
The Hot Springs Bathers minor league team and the Chicago White Sox (1948–51) minor league Spring Training were held at Jaycee Park. Jaycee Park hosted the 1952 Negro League World Series and a 1953 exhibition game featuring Jackie Robinson. The site can claim games featuring both All-time Home Run record holders, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron as among those who have played at the site. In 1914, Babe Ruth was just beginning his career (as a dominant left-handed pitcher) for the Red Sox, while a young Aaron played in the 1952 Negro League World Series.Today, the site has four historical plaques, as part of the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail. Majestic Field, Rogers Hornsby, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron each have historical plaques on the site.
Along with Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron, others who performed at the site include Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Jimmie Foxx, Gil Hodges, Harry Hooper, Cy Young, Rogers Hornsby, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Herb Pennock, Tris Speaker, and Walter Johnson. The Sporting News (1998) ranking of the greatest players ever listed: Babe Ruth (1), Ty Cobb (3), Walter Johnson (4), Hank Aaron (5) and Rogers Hornsby (9).Payne Park
Payne Park is a former baseball field from 1924 to 1990 in Sarasota, Florida. The stadium and field were built on a portion of 60 acres (0.24 km2) of land donated by Calvin Payne and his wife, Martha. Payne Park today is a 29-acre (0.12 km2) public park used for recreational events.Plant Field
Plant Field was the first major athletic venue in Tampa, Florida. It was built in 1899 by Henry B. Plant on the grounds of his Tampa Bay Hotel to host various events and activities for guests, and it consisted of a large field ringed by an oval race track flanked by a large covered grandstand on the western straightaway. Over the ensuing decades, Plant Field drew Tampa residents and visitors to see horse racing, car racing, baseball games, entertainers, and politicians.The stadium also hosted the first professional football and first spring training games in Tampa and was the long-time home of the Florida State Fair.
Soon after Tampa Stadium opened across town in the late 1960s, Plant Field was acquired by the adjacent University of Tampa, which changed the name of the grandstand to Pepin-Rood Stadium. Today, the original grandstand is gone and many university buildings are located in the large footprint of Plant Field. However, a portion of the original playing field is still used for university athletic events and student recreation.Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark
The Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark (also known as Jackie Robinson Stadium or City Island Ball Park) is a historic baseball field in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. It is located at 105 East Orange Avenue on City Island, in the Halifax River.Roger Dean Stadium
Roger Dean Stadium (officially known as Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium) is a baseball stadium located in the Abacoa community of the town of Jupiter, Florida. The stadium was built in 1998, holds 6,871 people, and features luxury sky-box seating, two levels of permanent seating, parking and concessions. The Roger Dean Stadium Complex is the only stadium in the country to host four minor league teams: the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals of the Class A-Advanced Baseball Florida State League, and the Gulf Coast Marlins and Gulf Coast Cardinals of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
Roger Dean Stadium is one of only two stadiums in Florida to host two Major League Baseball teams annually for spring training: the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals (the other is The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches, which opened in 2017, hosting the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros). In both venues, the teams share the main stadium where the games are played. However, the teams have their own practice fields, outdoor batting cages, several pitching mounds, and state-of-the-art conditioning rooms.Tempe Diablo Stadium
Tempe Diablo Stadium is a baseball field located in Tempe, Arizona. It is the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the home field for night games of the Arizona League Tempe Angels. It was the spring training home of the Seattle Pilots in 1969 and 1970 (the Pilots moved to Milwaukee late in spring training of March 1970 and prior to the 1970 regular season), the Milwaukee Brewers in 1971 and 1972, and the Seattle Mariners from 1977 through 1993; the Mariners now play at the Peoria Sports Complex, with the San Diego Padres.
The stadium was built in 1968 and holds 9,558 people. The stadium underwent an extensive $20 million renovation and was rededicated on Mar. 3, 2006. The renovation included the main stadium, the Major League Fields and the Minor League Complex on site. In return for the newly updated stadium, the Angels agreed to extend their spring training lease through Dec. 31, 2025. $12 million of the renovations were funded by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, a municipal corporation charged with funding renovations of Cactus League stadiums throughout Maricopa County.
Tempe Diablo Stadium can be seen from the Maricopa Freeway.Terry Park Ballfield
The Terry Park Ballfield (also known as the Park T. Pigott Memorial Stadium) is a historic site in Fort Myers, Florida, United States. The park is named after the family who donated the land in the 1920s. For years the stadium has hosted Major League Baseball spring training, as well as a dozen years of Florida State League baseball. The stadium has hosted the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Kansas City Royals spring training through the years. Terry Park was also home to some early minor league baseball, most notably the Fort Myers Palms and Fort Myers Royals, both belonging to the Florida State League. Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente, Jimmy Foxx, Bob Feller, Tris Speaker, and George Brett are some of the notable players that have played at Terry Park Field.Tinker Field
Tinker Field was an outdoor-baseball stadium in Orlando, Florida, United States. Named after Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Tinker, it was located in the West Lakes neighborhoods of Downtown Orlando, adjacent to the Camping World Stadium and one mile west of the Amway Center. In April, 2015 the City of Orlando tore down the grandstands and removed all other extant buildings.
Constructed in 1914, Tinker Field was the spring training home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins. It was also the home park of the Orlando Rays minor league baseball team before they moved to Cracker Jack Stadium in 2000. It is located directly adjacent to the western side of the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium and boasted a capacity of 5,100 before the grandstands were removed in 2015.Wilmington Park
Wilmington Park was a ballpark in Wilmington, Delaware that was located at the corner of 30th Street and Governor Printz Boulevard. It was home to the University of Delaware football team from 1940 to 1952 and the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Class B Interstate League from 1940 to 1952. The Blue Rocks were an affiliate of the Philadelphia Athletics from 1940 to 1943 and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1944 to 1952.