It’s February which means that while the rest of the country is freezing their toes off, those of us blessed to live in Arizona and Florida are gearing up for some MLB Spring Training. For those of us in these states, we are presented with a rare opportunity to watch some a handful of teams play baseball that we might not otherwise get to see. This is the last in a four part series, covering both AL & NL teams that hold Spring Training in the Cactus League (Arizona) and the Grapefruit League (Florida).
The Rest of the Spring Training Series
- Where American League Teams have Spring Training in Florida
- Where American League Teams have Spring Training in Arizona
- Where National League Teams have Spring Training in Arizona
Find your favorite team, slap on the sunscreen, and get ready to enjoy some Spring Training Baseball.
Grapefruit League Teams & Schedules
Now we switch over to the National League side of the Grapefruit League. Many teams have new or upgraded facilities which adds to the excitement. The Pujols deadline has passed which means everyone can just focus on baseball and not on contracts (or do I still have to read about Pujols every morning and evening?). The Florida air is clean, the sun is shining bright and the humidity has yet to take hold. It is the perfect time to head on down to see your favorite team.
National League Teams With Spring Training in Florida
Facility Name: Champion Stadium
Address: 700 S. Victory Way, Lake Buena Vista, FL 34747
The Braves head on south for the Spring to hold their workouts in Lake Buena Vista, the northernmost Grapefruit League Spring Training facility. If you haven’t had a chance to see Jason Heyward, well now is your opportunity. This team is loaded with young talent and they are looking to return to the playoffs. The young stars should see plenty of time on the field, making it well worth your time to see them play. There is plenty of room at the aptly named Champion Stadium, with seating for over 9.500.
Facility Name: Roger Dean Stadium
Address: 4751 Main Street, Jupiter, FL 33458
The Marlins are another team with a short trip to their Spring Training facilities. Jupiter Florida is a beautiful area on the Atlantic side of the state. They share a town with the St. Louis Cardinals, making this a hot spot to catch multiple games. They are far enough away from home to where it might be more convenient for Marlins fans to catch a spring training game rather than try to make it down to Miami for regular season action. Whatever your reason for catching a Florida Marlins Spring Training game, you will surely be impressed. This team always has a lot of young talent that inexplicably gets traded away once they start to get famous – Spring Training might be your best chance to see these kids.
Facility Name: Digital Domain Park
Address: 525 N.W. Peacock Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
The Mets, of all teams, are probably the most grateful to get away from New York City for a while and relax in beautiful Pt. Saint Lucie Florida. This team has so many off the field issues, they could easily have their own tabloid magazine, but down in the Grapefruit League, the Florida sun washes all of that away and the focus returns to baseball. Come see David Wright (before he starts slumping), Jose Reyes (before he gets hurt) and Francisco Rodriguez (before he punches you in the face). Another great thing about Mets Spring Training tickets is that you don’t have to join a Ponzi scheme to get them (Google: NY Mets, Bernie Madoff).
Facility Name: Bright House Field (10,335)
Address: 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater, FL 33765
Clearwater Florida is home to the Philadelphia Phillies and for a short month, will have some of the best pitching in the world on display. Imagine a world where Cole Hamels is a number 4 starter. Come watch Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Hamels throw bullpen sessions. Watch the flyin’ Hawaiian stretch in the outfield with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. It’s always sunny in Clearwater Florida and you have a good opportunity to watch the early World Series favorite start putting it all together in the pre-season. Thankfully, the Phillies Spring Training stadium holds more than 10,000 fans, but that doesn’t mean that Phillies spring training tickets will be any easier to get (We have them here though, just click on the link above).
Facility Name: McKechnie Field
Address: 1611 Ninth St. West, Bradenton, FL 34205
Even teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates have hope when Spring Training first kicks off. A team that hasn’t had a winning season since Barry Bonds picked up his first needle, looks to start brand new. This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the players, and if you are a Pirate’s fan, you will need this valuable time since there aren’t any household names on this roster. So if you live in Pittsburgh, what better way to rid yourself of the taste of Super Bowl than to drag yourself out of bed or step back off the ledge and head down to Florida for some Pirates Spring Training games.
St. Louis Cardinals
Facility Name: Roger Dean Stadium (7,000)
Address: 4751 Main Street, Jupiter, FL 33458
Cardinals fans listen up. This could be your last chance to get an Albert Pujols autograph before he signs with a different team following the 2011 season. This man is an amazing baseball player and if you have never got a chance to see him up close, pick yourself up some Cardinals Spring Training Tickets and get your pen and paper ready. Your front office is about to make a huge mistake by not resigning him and you will be left with a lineup of underperforming, overpaid players who will quickly realize how much protection King Albert provided. I hate to join the bandwagon of MLB coverage that won’t shut up about Albert, but I had to warn you guys – the end is near.
Facility Name: Space Coast Stadium (8,100)
Address: 5800 Stadium Parkway, Viera, FL 32940
The Nationals were one of the surprise teams last season and it all started with a solid Spring Training. While the team might have fizzled out near the end of the season and lost some key players from last year’s team, there are some bright spots left. Steven Strasburg is one of those key players and his arm will be as fresh as ever this Spring. If you want to see 100 MPH fastballs and like 40 MPH curveballs coming from the same arm, you will want to get yourself some Spring Training tickets to see the Nationals play ball. Get there early for bullpen sessions because odds are, he will be on a tight pitch count to preserve that golden arm of his.