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Boys and girls of spring

A spring training thread

Oakland Athletics v Chicago Cubs Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I’m going to miss spring training this year. Or rather, I’m going to miss my annual ST game this year. Due to unforeseen circumstances, our more or less annual trek to Ft. Myers is off this year, so no game for me. But let me digress a moment …

My mother-in-law has a place in Florida near Ft. Myers. For the past several years, the wife, daughters and I have taken their spring break (philskatie teaches at the girls’ school) as a chance to go down and visit. They relax, I work from a different remote location. We all eat some seafood. And we all hop in the car one day, drive to Ft. Myers and take in a spring training game. No, not the damned Boston Red Sox (too expensive and too sold-outive anyway), but rather a, um, Minnesota Twins game.

My wife is from St. Paul and still has some feelings for the Twins, which I generally don’t hold against her, and frankly, any team that employed Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, Bert Blyleven and Rod Carew cannot really be all that bad. They train in Ft. Myers. I have a place to stay for free in Ft. Myers. So we go to a Twins game.

And we have fun. I wear the Cooperstown Collection Rod Carew jersey my wife bought me (along with my White Sox cap), she wears hers (so we match, natch), the girls have a great time eating ballpark food and kinda-sorta watching the game, I down a couple of literal KilleBrews (a fair-to-middling root beer), and a great day is enjoyed.

But I’ve never really done spring training. Now, the Twins’ facility is first-rate:

  • A great little ballpark (The Ft. Myers Miracle — A-ball team — play there during the regular season. It’s where the Twins demoted Miguel Sano for fat camp during last season.)
  • Practice fields and minors facilities all easily accessible.
  • Relatively good parking.

But being just far enough away that it’s a bit of a bear to drive to, the kids and wife having their interest and patience sated by a game (and no desire for more) make it impractical to really do spring training. There is no hanging out at the practice fields. There is no watching the MiLB players on the back field. There is no hanging out to interact with whoever may walk by on their way to or from. There is no lounging around shooting the bull with other fans, whiling away an afternoon or five, just soaking in the baseball, basking in its glow, and feeling its soothing power to make life better.

And this year, not even a lousy Twins-Pirates game. Alas.

But as we start spring training this year, as baseball begins to put a little more joy (and angst and dour) into our hearts and minds, I’d like to invite the SSS community to share here their ST stories, experiences, and memories (all of which, I realize, are the same damned things, but it’s fun to have categories available).

If you’ve got a beefy enough story, or series of stories, please take the time to crack open a Fanpost and write it all down. Your story will better live on — and who knows, maybe even slide over to the main page — in Fanpost form, vs. a comment that will drown among all the replies and recs and cross-discussions of tomorrow, the next day, and the next.

So as the first sounds of ball into glove and ball off of bat begin to filter in, please tell us all about spring training and you. And it will help me feel better about not getting any myself this year.