Three years ago I visited spring training for the first time and was lucky enough to make it back this past week as I was in the area for some family celebration. I only made it out to the complex a couple of times for a few hours each time but it was a great time (plus I had escaped the winters/flooding of Nebraska and had some great beach time). As a result I thought I would share a couple of quick thoughts for those of you who haven't been there and just add to what others have posted in the past about visiting there.
The first day I visited the Twins were playing a game and I arrived a few hours before the game and was able to watch some batting practice which is right outside stadium. You are in such close proximity to the players and it is really interesting to watch how they go through their routines, as well as the interactions with those around them. The second group we watched that day included Nelson Cruz who is not only a pretty impressive looking guy but also was entertaining. My favorite part of that batting practice was that Tony Oliva and Rod Carew were behind the guys batting and they were interacting with them as well. I just wish I spoke better Spanish because they were all having a good time.
When you do visit spring training, you never know who you will see. Seeing Oliva and Carew were the highlights for me just as I was able to watch Tom Kelly run an infield practice on the Tom Kelly field three years ago.
I also enjoy watching the minor league players and was able to do that on both Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, it wasn't a game day and I went over in the afternoon and parked for free and just walked right up to the two minor league fields where there were two games going on between the Red Sox and the Twins. There was a lot of activity going on and many family members supporting the players. You can get right next to the dugout and hear the interaction in there as well as the action on the field.
I wasn't able to watch as much as I wanted but do want to make a trip down again where I can spend a lot more time watching a game or two and watching a lot more of the practices. If you haven't made it down there I would strongly recommend it. The TWINSDAILY guys do a great job of covering it and we are lucky to have them there - I even thought I had a Seth sighting.
I also posted a few pictures of Cruz, Oliva, Carew and some sites around the baseball area.