It’s March and in my household that means one thing… baseball is back. We are avid sports fans and my husband especially loves baseball, so it works out well that we live in the mecca of spring training baseball games. Each year we make a point to get to at least one spring training baseball game. I’ve compiled a list of helpful information, tips, and tricks for making the most of spring training baseball season here in Central Florida.
The Grapefruit League consists of fifteen Major League Baseball (MLB) teams that hold their spring training games in Florida between Feb 22nd – March 26th, 2019.
Current Grapefruit League Teams
Typically, Major League Baseball teams are broken up based on their geographic location. Eastern teams find themselves scattered along Florida’s shores to play each other in the Grapefruit League. Those teams (and their Grapefruit League stadiums) are:
- The Atlanta Braves – Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista
- The Baltimore Orioles – Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota
- The Boston Red Sox – JetBlue Park in Fort Myers
- The Detroit Tigers – Publix Field in Lakeland
- The Houston Astros – The Ballpark in West Palm Beach
- The Miami Marlins – Roger Dean in Jupiter
- The Minnesota Twins – Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers
- The New York Mets – Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie
- The New York Yankees – Steinbrenner Field in Tampa
- The Philadelphia Phillies – Spectrum Field in Clearwater
- The Pittsburgh Pirates – LECOM Park in Bradenton
- The St. Louis Cardinals – Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter
- The Tampa Bay Rays – Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte
- The Toronto Blue Jays – Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin
- The Washington Nationals – The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach
Here’s a link to this year’s schedule!
Things to remember:
Majority of the games are played during the day, which works out well if you’re looking for something fun to do during spring break! However, if you have kids who still require a nap, you may have to settle with a nap in the car on the way to or home from the game.
Since they are day games, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats for the whole family.
If there are lawn seats available, they are usually cheaper and offer more flexibility with squirmy kids. Don’t forget to pack a blanket and make sure you check the stadium policy on bringing chairs, coolers, outside food, and umbrellas before you go.
In my personal experience, baby wearing is key! For the last three years, I’ve attended baseball games with a child in the Ergo. I have two free hands, it helps immensely walking to and from the stadium, and it offers a great place for a nap.
If you are planning to go to a game in the early weeks, the big time players usually only play for an inning or two. Don’t be surprised if you are cheering for a bunch of guys you have never heard of.
When looking at schedule, you may notice an “SS” next to the game time. This indicates that the game will be played with a “split squad” meaning your favorite player may or may not be at the game you choose to go to.
If you have smaller children, don’t plan on staying the whole game, especially if it’s hot. I think we lasted a total of three innings last year, but we made the most of the game while we were there!
Which games are you planning to go to this year?