Appreciating all that makes America special

Baseball’s Spring Training

Spring Training,

Spring training statistics don't count - except those that total what fans spend to come to the games. Uploaded by

True baseball fans (the dwindling numbers that remain) count down the time like a kid waiting for Santa: “Only 24 days till pitchers and catchers report.” Ballplayers head to Florida (the Grapefruit League) or Arizona (the Cactus League) to shake off the rust of the off-season.

Spring training locations,

Uploaded by

It’s a tradition that, in one form or another, started even before 1900. In those days, player salaries weren’t enough to support them all year, so they took on other jobs to support themselves. They’d train in Southern cities, then barnstorm their way back to their hometowns. Owners came to count on the revenue, and finally someone had the idea to form regular spring leagues, with permanent homes for the teams. It’s an industry now, but one that’s bathed in romance and nostalgia.

Now, fans come to bask in the spring sunshine, enjoying a closeness to the players and an informality that big stadiums and games that count don’t allow. It’s a major revenue source for cities like Jupiter and Port Charlotte, Florida and Peoria and Surprise, Arizona. Everyone loves spring training – except the players who don’t make the major league squad. But that’s another story, isn’t it?

It's easy to share with friends.