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AScheib50
03-03-2013, 10:06 PM
So I have some free time this month and have been thinking about heading to Ft Myers to visit a friend and subsequently check out Spring Training. Was wondering if anyone who'd been in the past had an tips. I figured I would go to a game or two but I am kinda interested in hanging out and watching some of the young guys and check out kind of the behind the scenes stuff ie: bp, drills, etc...Any info would be helpful. Thanks guy.

tellis205
03-03-2013, 10:40 PM
You can drive into Hammond Stadium and right over to the Minor League fields. They usually come out around 9:30 am every morning. If it's a game day in the main stadium, you'll have to pay parking. Last time I was there it was $5.00. Probly more now. You can get up real close and walk easily between the minor league fields which are only feet apart. Once the minor leaguer's start playing games, they usually start at noon. Usually there will be a AAA game on one field and a AA game on the other field. Then the next day those two teams will be on the road and the A+ team and the low A team will be playing. They usually play games against Pittsburgh, Boston, and Baltimore to name a few. The rookie league team often plays games against local Minnesota college teams. The Twins have an office in the minor league complex. If you walk in there, there are roster's with uniform numbers assigned to the players. Most of the players have their name on the back of their jersey anyway. You can see Tony Oliva, Rod Carew drive by once in awhile on a golf cart. Paul Molitor coaches the minor leaguer's and it's usually a treat to stand there and listen to him talk to the minor leaguer's about hitting. When I go down I'm looking forward to seeing Buxton hit. If this is your first time, I would definitely recommend watching Miguel Sano. You might notice how the ball sounds differently coming off his bat. Most of these guys will sign autographs but when their walking between the fields to get to the drills they usually don't like to sign. I'd wait until practice is done and then their more willing. I'll be down there from the 11th - 18th. Can't wait.

ChiTownTwinsFan
03-03-2013, 10:43 PM
On game day, go early. (I usually plan on arriving a MINIMUM of an hour before game time; usually earlier than that; depends on if I'm alone or with family.) Traffic is thick and parking gets filled fast. Gates open 3 hrs prior to game time, I think. If it's really hot out or inclement weather, batting practice may not happen or will be abbreviated. If you haven't gotten the line up on the computer before leaving (and you care) they put it on a erase board on the main concourse down the 3rd base side. Or you can just wait until it's announced at the game. If you've never been before, I'd go extra early and just wander everywhere. I'm not sure what activity happens on non- or away-game days. Plenty of people around selling tickets if you don't want to buy tickets earlier. And I've gotten good seats by waiting for any unsold handicapped seating which is released an hour prior to game time. (Not sure if that's changed at all, but that's what it was last year and previous years.)

ChiTownTwinsFan
03-03-2013, 10:47 PM
You can drive into Hammond Stadium and right over to the Minor League fields. They usually come out around 9:30 am every morning. If it's a game day in the main stadium, you'll have to pay parking. Last time I was there it was $5.00.

It's double that now.

Halsey Hall
03-04-2013, 11:30 AM
Right, parking is now $10 on game days. The gates open around 6:30. They start charging for parking before 9. Alot of good advise in the previous posts. By the time you get here the minor league camp will be open. There'll be practicing on all the fields, but the field next to the stadium is for the Twins. I'm not sure what date the minor league games start, but they should be going on when you are here. Also, keep an eye and ear out for Twins "b" games. They schedule those once in awhile, and are at the minor league fields. Nothing like watching major leaguers play that close up.

I wouldn't buy tickets before hand. So far this year you can get tickets for $8 or less for every game so far on Stub Hub. You'll need a printer and can get one for under 30 at Walmart.

Carew left yesterday. Molitor is soft spoken but if you can hear him giving instructions, it's very interesting. TK will be at the minors, and you can hear him everywhere. He really knows his stuff. If you're after autographs respond. Most people down here and those that have been here for years asked me how. I seem to know the best way, which isn't obvious to most people, and it's really simple. See you here!

Don't Feed the Greed Guy
03-04-2013, 12:07 PM
ASchieb,

I purchased the "Spring Training Handbook" by Joshua Pahigian, and "Florida Spring Training" by Alan Byrd. Both books are dated, but offer some good advice, especially if you plan on travelling beyond Ft. Myers. I've been to several parks, and encourage you to check out Bright House Networks Field (Phillies) in Clearwater, although all of the parks are fun. If you are travelling with kids, bring a ball, or get one at the game--signatures are common, from the prospects to the legends. Drink plenty of water, take stock in sunscreen, and have a ball. I would excho what everyone else has been saying, go early, and move around the minor league fields. And post your experiences while you are down there, and when you get back. It's always fun to read other perspectives on the talent, and what happens during the games.

Take care,
No Greed Guy

ashburyjohn
03-04-2013, 12:16 PM
You can drive into Hammond Stadium

Stay on the infield dirt. They get mad when you leave tire marks on their outfield grass.

But, all seriousness aside, I didn't see anyone mention Thrylos's guide from a few weeks ago. Here is part 3 (http://twinsdaily.com/blogs/thrylos98/2490-2013-spring-training-guide-fort-myers-part-iii-food.html), which contains links to parts 1 and 2.

lightfoot789
03-04-2013, 12:55 PM
When is the Minor League Spring Training Schedule for games being released: It would be nice to plan ahead to see those game (home and away), as opposed to showing up and hoping they are playing. I'm more excited about seeing minor league games during spring training. Does anybody know when & who they play this spring?

AScheib50
03-04-2013, 05:40 PM
So it sounds as though I can just park and then wander about the different fields? Even on game days? Like I plan to go next week and the schedule has them off Tuesday, playing a night game Wed, day game Thursday, away Friday and a day game Saturday. Obviously there will be stuff going on everyday, but do they practice on game days? If the Twins are playing a day game can I still just go wander about the minor league fields? Do I have to pay anything other than parking if I do that? Thanks for the help guys, making things a ton easier. The less guess work the better.

-Andrew

Thrylos
03-04-2013, 07:11 PM
When is the Minor League Spring Training Schedule for games being released: It would be nice to plan ahead to see those game (home and away), as opposed to showing up and hoping they are playing. I'm more excited about seeing minor league games during spring training. Does anybody know when & who they play this spring?

Minor leaguers (not invited to the MLB camp) have just started to report. I think that sometime this week is the official reporting day. Mostly they will play the 3-4 teams that are close: Red Sox, Orioles, Pirates and Rays. They will play at the side fields. Multiple games at the same time. Schedule is not out yet.

OP. Feel free to look at all my 2013 ST stuff including all 3 of my ST guides for this year here (http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/search/label/2013%20Spring%20Training). You might have to crawl down to see what you want. Also feel free to PM me (anyone else too) if you have any particular questions.

Thrylos
03-04-2013, 07:17 PM
So it sounds as though I can just park and then wander about the different fields? Even on game days? Like I plan to go next week and the schedule has them off Tuesday, playing a night game Wed, day game Thursday, away Friday and a day game Saturday. Obviously there will be stuff going on everyday, but do they practice on game days? If the Twins are playing a day game can I still just go wander about the minor league fields? Do I have to pay anything other than parking if I do that? Thanks for the help guys, making things a ton easier. The less guess work the better.

-Andrew

Again, check the links above :)

Yes you can park and wander even if they (Twins MLB club) have a game. If they have a game, it will cost you to park; if not it is free. Drive all the way to the warehouse looking thing; it is the minor league clubhouse and the fields are close to there. Things start at 10ish AM so be bright and early. The MLB Camp folks practice on game days at the field closest to Hammond Stadium and you can catch some of them take BP in the cages underneath as well. All minor league games are free.

Halsey Hall
03-04-2013, 08:47 PM
Yes, you can wander all over. If tueday is an off day, the Twins won't be around. But the ml will. There is also a women's college softball tourney going on at the softball fields. 4 fields with home plate in a hub, so easy to watch any game by taking a few steps. The night game they will start practice probably around 4:30 or so. Away friday the Twins will practice from 9-11 am. They always practice on game days, at 9. Parking is the only charge. One tip = enter the grounds off of Plantation Road, not Six Mile Cypress. On game days they will try to direct you to a parking location. Don't go there, just point left, and go park near the curve in the drive. You'll be parked right by the minor league fields. Easy to get out there too. Best to park 30 feet at least up from the road though, as you wouldn't want a Sano or Arcia ball go windshield on you.

AScheib50
03-04-2013, 09:45 PM
Thanks for the link. The breakdown of options makes things easier. I think I am most looking forward to just wandering around and watching the minor leaguers practice and play. Sounds like that is a good option as well. Any opinions as to how long is a long enough stay? I've been thinking get in Wed leave Sunday.

ChiTownTwinsFan
03-04-2013, 10:00 PM
Thanks for the link. The breakdown of options makes things easier. I think I am most looking forward to just wandering around and watching the minor leaguers practice and play. Sounds like that is a good option as well. Any opinions as to how long is a long enough stay? I've been thinking get in Wed leave Sunday.

I've had stays from 4 days to 2 weeks that time of year. I think you will get out of it what you want in the amount of time you propose. You'll get a good feel for how it is and then can plan to spend a full week next year!