Thursday, November 6, 2008

2007 Grapefruit League (A look back/moved from my old .mac account)

This was the year! I was sure the Mets would make it to the World Series. I got an autograph from HOF'er Ralph Kiner in front of Tradition Field. I also got autographs from Julio Franco, Endy "The Catch" Chavez and Mike Carp. I saw Tom Glavine, Scott Kazmir, Carlos Beltran and Howard Johnson as the Mets batting coach. In Clearwater, I got autographs from Aki Iwamura, Delmon Young and Jonny Gomes.  That was also the year Josh Hamilton made his return to the bigs with the Reds. Nobody knew what he would do the next year.....Finally, the NY Mets finished Spring Training at Tropicana Field. They lost to the D-Rays..

Parks Visited:
Knology (Toronto Blue Jays) Dunedin
Tradition Field (NY Mets) Port St. Lucie
Holman Stadium, Dodgertown (LA Dodgers) Vero Beach
Brighthouse Networks Field (Phillies) Clearwater
Tropicana Field (D-Rays) St. Pete
Ed Smith Stadium (Reds) Sarasota

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Grapefruit League 2006 (A further look back/stuff from my old .mac account)

Spring 2006. The first year I started the "annual" trip to Florida for Spring Training. The NY Mets had a great run that year and lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the Playoffs despite the memorable catch by Endy Chavez. I stayed in Orlando/Kissimmee that year. I drove back and forth to Port St. Lucie to see the Mets, as well as, going to the Astros in Kissimmee and the Braves at Wide World of Sports/Cracker Jack Stadium/Champion Stadium. I spent the second part of the trip in St. Pete. Blue Jays, Devil Rays & Phillies. 

Autographs from:
David Wright (photo hangs on my wall)
Astros Program:
Andy Pettitte 
Trever Miller
Phil Garner
Russ Springer
Taylor Buchholz
Mike Gallo
Eric Bruntlett

The highlight of the trip was seeing Yogi Berra on the field at Al Lang. It was 21 years since someone in my family had snapped a picture of a Spring Training game in St. Petersburg and Yogi was there both times. Also spotted Don Zimmer, Joe Torre and Reggie Jackson.

The itinerary:
Eight days/Nine Games. I saw the NY Mets Five times. (4 Home/1 Away). The Devil Rays three times. The Yankees twice. The Braves twice, Astros twice. I also saw the Blue Jays, the Reds and the Orioles. I also drove to the Phillies minor league complex for a few hours. 

Monday, November 3, 2008

1975 (a look way back/old stuff from my .mac website)

Spring Training 1975. I was 7.  My dad took me to see a baseball game at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, FL. At that time Al Lang was the Spring Training home of the NY Mets and St. Louis Cardinals. It was picture perfect day. A kid could go on the field and have his picture taken with their favorite NY Met. I was so shy I wouldn’t ask. My dad got pictures of Rusty and Yogi. Twenty-one years later my dad and I went to a Spring Training game at Progress Energy Park, home of AL Lang Field. Yogi was there.