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View Full Version : Spring Training worth the trip?



UPRedsFan
01-17-2009, 04:26 PM
I'm thinking of making the trip down to Sarasota to catch some spring games since this is the last year in Fla. I'm curious to hear from those who've gone.

What's the best time to arrive to get autographs?

Can you see any of the team workouts?

What time of day are the workouts / BP if they're playing a 1:00 game?

What's your general impression of Ed Smith stadium and the whole experience?

GoReds33
01-17-2009, 04:38 PM
Yes, it is defenitly worth the trip. Spend the little bit extra and get good seats. They generally aren't expensive at all. Get there as early as possible. I got to the fields around 8:30 AM, for a noon or one o'clock game. You can see all the minor leaguers working out, unless they have a game somewhere. Sometimes you see intersquad games with minor league players. I was lucky enough that I got to the training fields in time to see some of the Major League players taking BP. Bronson was nice enough to talk to me for a couple minutes, and I got his autograph. I got 17 autographs the first day. You can get plenty of good players. When I was there, I got Hamilton, Phillips, Arroyo, Stubbs, Bruce, and Cueto.

The stadium was great. It's been a couple years for me, but it was a tremendous experience. It was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen when somebody asked if they could get ketchup on a cheese coney.:D

Ghosts of 1990
01-17-2009, 05:56 PM
not in this economy.

Bip Roberts
01-17-2009, 06:02 PM
I am trying to plan to go but trying to find someone to go with me is quite the trouble :(

UPRedsFan
01-17-2009, 06:29 PM
With the kids and school the earliest I can get down there is the final week after the roster has been trimmed. Is there still stuff going on in the mornings that late in spring?

redsfan1966
01-17-2009, 10:57 PM
Bip, I would love to go with ya--but probably couldnt get the time off. I havent been to ST since the Plant City days....but I remember loving it. Especially being able to hit not only Plant City, but Lakeland, Kississimee and Orlando...It was a blast...

gedred69
01-17-2009, 11:27 PM
This year will make 9 of the last 10 for me, Already got my trip booked. It will sadly be my last I'd say. I have the advantage of a brother living in the Ft. Myers area, where the Twins, Bosox, and Rays are, and only 1.5 hrs from Sarasota. If you want autographs, as someone suggested pay for good seats ( on whichever side the Reds are on), and get there early. 3 years ago I had my 20 something daughters with me, No problem getting players attention! Yeah, that's right, I pimped my girls! This worked both in Sarasota and Ft. Myers. If you get to the Bosox stadium-City of the Palms, when the game is over, the Reds exit the clubhouse down the 1st base line, right on the street sidewalk. Only the elitist ignore the fans. I get many autographs there.

BTW, if you are interested in more than Reds autographs, Twins definately are the fan-friendliest, even Morneau, Mauer, and Hunter (when he was there).

redsfanfalcon
01-18-2009, 12:44 AM
It is worth every penny. There are typically a lot of minor league games/workouts going on at the practice fields. I would even go at 10 in the morning to watch them workout, then just hang around for the 1:00 game. Some major leaguers are even working out sometimes with the minor leaguers and you can get autographs there as well. Batting practice is a good time at Ed Smith also. Last year I stood down the right field line and Joe Nathan (closer for the Twins) was hanging out down there talking to the fans and giving autographs. Marty usually walks down the line with Thom also (they did last year). I would say go early in the spring as it doesn't seem to be quite as crowded then. I guess the players hang out at Fin Daddy's a lot, but I never went. I will miss Florida for spring training (my wife's great aunt lives about 2 miles from the ballpark) but the good thing is my cousin lives about 30 minutes from Goodyear and she's already offered up her place for my dad and I to come out.

DannyB
01-18-2009, 07:28 AM
This year will make 9 of the last 10 for me, Already got my trip booked. It will sadly be my last I'd say. I have the advantage of a brother living in the Ft. Myers area, where the Twins, Bosox, and Rays are, and only 1.5 hrs from Sarasota. If you want autographs, as someone suggested pay for good seats ( on whichever side the Reds are on), and get there early. 3 years ago I had my 20 something daughters with me, No problem getting players attention! Yeah, that's right, I pimped my girls! This worked both in Sarasota and Ft. Myers. If you get to the Bosox stadium-City of the Palms, when the game is over, the Reds exit the clubhouse down the 1st base line, right on the street sidewalk. Only the elitist ignore the fans. I get many autographs there.

BTW, if you are interested in more than Reds autographs, Twins definately are the fan-friendliest, even Morneau, Mauer, and Hunter (when he was there).
Never say never gedred Phoenix is a pretty interesting place and easy to get to.

jmac
01-18-2009, 11:31 AM
Pitchers and catchers report in :

26 days/ 22 hours/ 37 minutes

Oh Yeah !

timothy1
01-18-2009, 04:46 PM
I would love to go to one in any economy when I get the chance to... maybe when I retire from working... far into the future... Lord willing

BEETTLEBUG
01-18-2009, 06:56 PM
They are fun to go to. I am planning on going just hope my friend can go first week of March starting the second.

highheat11
01-18-2009, 07:13 PM
I went down to Sarasota last year and I had an incredible time. Everything was so laid back and the players were willing to talk and joke around with the fans. David Ross even stood by the fence to get some pictures taken with fans after one of his at bats in the AA/High A inter-squad scrimmage. I plan on going down again this year for a long weekend or something. I hope they can keep the same laid back feel when they move to Arizona.

DannyB
01-18-2009, 09:43 PM
I would love to go to one in any economy when I get the chance to... maybe when I retire from working... far into the future... Lord willingHey thats what tax refunds are for.:)

Carin4Narron
01-19-2009, 11:13 AM
I am going mainly to see Boston and Yankees, and the last game in Sarasota with the Pittsburgh. With no hope this year at least I will get a tan.

bigredbunter
01-19-2009, 01:57 PM
I'm thinking of making the trip down to Sarasota to catch some spring games since this is the last year in Fla. I'm curious to hear from those who've gone.

What's the best time to arrive to get autographs?

Can you see any of the team workouts?

What time of day are the workouts / BP if they're playing a 1:00 game?

What's your general impression of Ed Smith stadium and the whole experience?

It's a good time all around---We always stay in Siesta Key--It's probably 20-25 minutes from the stadium--Fantastic beaches. I've shown up as late as 30 minutes prior to game time and have gotten autographs...Depending on the visiting team, I've found it much easier to get the visiting players to sign than the Reds (less competition probably).

Also, IMO, Ed Smith stadium is a solid ballpark. Sure it's not scenic or anything...Though if you're going to a 1 p.m. game, I would definitely sit up higher to get in the shade of the grandstand's roof.

UPRedsFan
01-19-2009, 04:36 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm going to the Yankees and Pirates last week of the spring. My 7 and 9 yr olds are ecstatic about chance to get Jay Bruce's autograph. I'm ecstatic to catch some rays and see some baseball in March!

DannyB
01-19-2009, 05:14 PM
You could probably cut some costs if you stayed here
http://www.venice-fla.com/index.htm
Its 15 minutes to Sarasota

UPRedsFan
01-29-2009, 10:43 AM
Hey, can any of you experienced spring training goers tell me what happens at the stadium on days when the major league team travels for a game?

Are there minor league practice games to watch? Can you get in to see those or do you have to buy tickets?

bounty37h
01-29-2009, 11:46 AM
This year will make 9 of the last 10 for me, Already got my trip booked. It will sadly be my last I'd say. I have the advantage of a brother living in the Ft. Myers area, where the Twins, Bosox, and Rays are, and only 1.5 hrs from Sarasota. If you want autographs, as someone suggested pay for good seats ( on whichever side the Reds are on), and get there early. 3 years ago I had my 20 something daughters with me, No problem getting players attention! Yeah, that's right, I pimped my girls! This worked both in Sarasota and Ft. Myers. If you get to the Bosox stadium-City of the Palms, when the game is over, the Reds exit the clubhouse down the 1st base line, right on the street sidewalk. Only the elitist ignore the fans. I get many autographs there.

BTW, if you are interested in more than Reds autographs, Twins definately are the fan-friendliest, even Morneau, Mauer, and Hunter (when he was there).

GedRed, in similar boat, hoping to make it down one last time this year, but not looking as good right now as it had been. I am sad about that too, Ed Smith Stadium is right across the st from where my great,great grandmother lived out her final years, so has a special meaning to me. I dont see me ever getting out to AZ for ST, so guess my ST days are done....

bounty37h
01-29-2009, 11:49 AM
Hey, can any of you experienced spring training goers tell me what happens at the stadium on days when the major league team travels for a game?

Are there minor league practice games to watch? Can you get in to see those or do you have to buy tickets?

Yeha, there are still minor league activites going on if its not a split squad traveling game. In these cases, the complex is open, no tickets required to watch the minor league workouts, and that to me is a big part of the fun and attraction of going ot ST, I always go early to check out the minor league workout.

UPRedsFan
01-29-2009, 05:32 PM
Bounty,
How early do you recommend getting to the stadium to see a minor league workout?

carmack42
01-30-2009, 03:29 PM
Players have to be dressed out around 9 if I remember correctly. I remember watching a kid show up late, tearing through the bleacher section. Jaime Dismuke stopped him and said "Don't run. You already late!"

My dad and I got there ridiculously early. Around 8. We just read the paper, drank coffee, and talked with all the other earlybirds.

Protip: 8am is also before the parking attendants get there.

Old NDN
01-30-2009, 07:44 PM
It's worth the trip. I've been several times with some buddies, who for the most part, were all Reds fans. We took in a couple Reds games/practices, but really enjoyed seeing other teams and facilities. We were able to watch a 1pm game, then head to a night game at another site. Sometimes we found some good college or JC games in the morning also. You just have to coordinate your schedule and fit in as much as you can. Four days of baseball (and warm weather) for a bunch of baseball junkies was fantastic.

Redsfanao
02-02-2009, 12:50 AM
So, I'm planning on going to Sarasota on February 19-21, which is before games start. Does anyone have any suggestions on what the best plan of action is to see the team workouts?

bounty37h
02-02-2009, 12:54 PM
Bounty,
How early do you recommend getting to the stadium to see a minor league workout?

I always camped when I go down, so amazingly was up and wide awake early mornings, but would head over to the park @ 8 or so I guess, see players coming in, can get autos, talk to them as they come in, see full stretches, workouts, etc. throught he whole mornign after that.

Bip Roberts
02-02-2009, 12:55 PM
I have no doubt I could make the trip fairly cheap.

I mean you probably only need a shower every 3 days :laugh:

DannyB
02-02-2009, 01:58 PM
I have no doubt I could make the trip fairly cheap.

I mean you probably only need a shower every 3 days :laugh:
You can find a fresh water shower at the beach :thumbup:

mroby85
02-02-2009, 03:26 PM
The good news is if you can't make it to spring training this year, they're fielding a spring training like roster at GABP in Cincinnati this season.

BEETTLEBUG
02-03-2009, 06:49 AM
That was not nice mroby85. True but not nice, give them some breaks.

Carin4Narron
02-03-2009, 09:13 AM
The good news is if you can't make it to spring training this year, they're fielding a spring training like roster at GABP in Cincinnati this season.BINGO,my friend!

Redsfanao
02-08-2009, 11:28 PM
So, I'm planning on going to Sarasota on February 19-21, which is before games start. Does anyone have any suggestions on what the best plan of action is to see the team workouts? Are you allowed in to see the team workout? Anyone who has any knowledge or experience with going early in Spring Training before the games start, please let me know.

bounty37h
02-09-2009, 01:58 PM
Yes, you can see the workouts, they are open and free, and less attended then once games start, so can often get better views, interactions. Have fun man, I am very, very jealous!

Redsfanao
02-09-2009, 08:42 PM
Thanks a lot, bounty! I appreciate the information and can't wait to get down to Sarasota next week. I'll post some pictures once I get down there.

xavr1
02-10-2009, 11:15 AM
Any reason to go down South during March is well worth it if you have the money. I just got back from Florida and it was tough stepping off the plane in 30 degree OH weather...