Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tour de Spring Training Hits Clearwater

The days of spring training are dwindling to a precious few now, as the big league teams are only a couple of days from packing their gear and heading north to begin the 2008 season. Today I cycled to the premier spring stadium in Florida -- Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, where the Philadelphia Phillies train.

It was an ideal, picture-postcard day. Even the smug Yankees fans couldn't ruin the day as New York visited the Phillies' home. Let's take a look.

The place was packed.

That's A-Rod running past first base.

The folks at the Shorty's concessions stand were making four-packs of small hamburgers for about $6.75 a pop.

I was standing behind home plate when a guy from New York had his little kid and was saying, "What a view. We've never seen a view like this at Yankee Stadium." Indeed, it's a cool view to see a game.

The berm -- a grassy area where there are no chairs but you still have to pay -- was packed.

A glorious day at the ballyard.

The Cowbell Kid is a Rays mainstay, but he ventured into Clearwater for more exposure.

The Frenchy's tiki bar area is one popular hangout.

It may have been the Phillies' home field, but Yankees fans were every where and wearing jerseys with the names and numbers of some of the biggest names in baseball hitory.

If you lived around metro New York in the 1970s, you couldn't help but admire Thurmon Munson's grit -- even if you were a Mets fan.

Whitey Ford

The Philly cheesesteaks are the real deal here. The bread is flown from Philly overnight.

There were some bicyclists in the house.


JHop said...

Hey, Alan, do any of those ballparks have bike parking? I surmise from your pic of the bikes along the fence that at least Clearwater does not.

Alan Snel said...

There's a small bike lockup area that's tucked away off the parking lot but not close to the ballpark, so it's not used.