Friday, March 28, 2008

Good Night, Al Lang Field

Today a whole bunch of baseball fans said so long to historic Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg for one last time. It was the last home game for the Rays at their spring training stadium because next year the local ballclub is off to Port Charlotte starting next spring. Remarkably, more than a half-dozen teams held spring training at the field, including the New York Mets and their famed 1969 World Championship team.

After today's last game, the Rays invited the fans to come on the field, munch some free hot dogs and snap photos to their hearts' content all around the joint. The Rays hope the local fans in St. Petersburg will go to the polls and approve a new regular stadium on the bayfront site of the Al Lang ballyard. In fact, the photo above shows where home plate would be if the new stadium was built.

Just below, you're looking at the final out and the final play at Al Lang Field -- a ground ball off the bat of a young Rays player by the name of Jay Canizaro.

After the last out of the last game, Rays Managar Joe Winecork held court on the field for one final time.

You're looking at the last lineup at Al Lang Field.

Anyone with a camera on the field after the game had a field day.

Folks lounged all around the field, ate hot dogs and created a fun scene, such as three of my friends -- Ellen, Nancy and Carrie.

Once the gates were open for fans to feel the field, there were a few bicyclists in the bunch.

Some older "kids" also ran the bases after the game.

Right before the last out was made at Al lang Field, this little fella was sound asleep.

The Cowbell guy and Minny Cowbell guy were making the rounds.

Raymond the mascot was popular after the game.

This gal laid back and enjoyed a nice smoke in rightfield.

There's Mayor Ballpark at the last game.

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