I attended the Florida Marlins practice yesterday as they wrap up their practice sessions and get ready for games against other clubs in the next few days.
Spring is definitely here!!! The freshly cut lawn. Perfectly painted lines on the field. The grounds-crew keeping the infield clay wet. Baseball is back – FINALLY!!! The only thing missing was the smell of popcorn in the air…
This was my first ever trip to Jupiter, Florida where both the Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals share their Spring Training headquarters. The facility is immaculate, and is much larger than I had imagined. There is one main field that both the Marlins and Cards call ‘home’ for their games. In addition to that, each team has 6 practice fields.
RIGHT PLACE, WRONG TIME
I knew it wouldn’t be too busy on a Tuesday, but I didn’t realize that the Marlins wouldn’t be too busy either. From what I have read and have been told over the last few weeks is that the players are all very accessible as they move from field to field to hit the different stations around the complex to work on running drills, fielding drills, and hitting in the cages. But because today was picture day for the team, all of the ‘regular’ roster guys stayed away from the practice fields. They worked solely in the batting cages and on the main field which were both closed to the public. Any other day and it would have been perfect. There were just 6 of us in the morning and the crowd max’ed out at about 15 by the middle of the afternoon.
I still had a great time watching the guys get from one place to the next and scored some pretty great autographs and pictures in the process.
This is post #1 of this series. Get ready to relive my Spring Training experience with me…