Saturday, March 16, 2019

Review of Spring Training in Baseball

Baseball, baseball glove and bat lying on grass
Source: Pixabay
Spring Training is a period of training and exhibition play beginning in late February and lasting up to Opening Day of Major League Baseball.

For about four weeks, experienced players and rookies alike train and play at small parks in Arizona or Florida, getting ready for the beginning of the baseball season.  It is a unique baseball experience for fans, giving them up-close access to favorite players and a chance to see blossoming prospects who could go on to be the next big star. 

For me, the Baseball Contributor here on Review This and a huge baseball fan, Spring Training is a sign that the long, cold winter is nearing an end and warm weather and the joys of baseball season are about to begin.  I believe in the quote:

Collage of baseball and crossed bats with a winter scene depicting favorite baseball quote

Spring Training

Spring Training is nearly as old as baseball itself, although it was not the big business it is today with designated parks just for Spring Training games and winter excursion packages to games in Arizona and Florida for snow-weary fans. 

In bygone days, training games were held locally to save money, training indoors in inclement weather. Later, teams began training in the south, but there were no organized training leagues until after 1910.  Today it is as much a marketable enterprise as the regular baseball season with two distinct leagues, one in Florida and one in Arizona.

Cactus League in Arizona

Picture of cactus in Arizona desert
Source: Pixabay

The Cactus League holds spring training in the desert for teams from both leagues (American and National). These teams are generally located around Phoenix and include:

  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  • Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Chicago Cubs 
  • Cincinnati Reds 
  • Cleveland Indians 
  • Colorado Rockies 
  • Chicago White Sox 
  • Kansas City Royals 

Grapefruit League in Florida

Scene of a Florida  beach with palm trees
Source: Pixabay

The Grapefruit League holds spring training in various parts of Florida, both the Gulf coast and the Atlantic coast. This league includes the following teams: 

  • Atlanta Braves 
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Boston Red Sox 
  • Houston Astros 
  • Miami Marlins 
  • Minnesota Twins 
  • New York Mets 
  • New York Yankees 
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Pittsburgh Pirates 
  • St. Louis Cardinals 
  • Tampa Bay Rays 
  • Toronto Blue Jays 
  • Washington Nationals 

Following is a famous quote by Roger Hornsby, the well-known second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals (1915-1919), that definitely says how I feel when there is no baseball.

Baseball quote by Roger Hornsby


Will  you be attending any Spring Training games this year, or have you done so in the past? Leave me a comment telling me where you went and what team you got to see. 

Mary Beth Granger at the St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training site in Jupiter, Florida
*Blog Note:  Mary Beth Granger, our own MbgPhoto here on Review This, travels with her husband to Jupiter, Florida each February to attend their beloved St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training games.

For the rest of us, join me in welcoming the beginning of the Major League Baseball season and the fact that this represents an end to winter and the return of the 'Boys of Summer'. 

For More Baseball Reviews, Check Out ReviewThisReviews: Baseball

Lets Play Ball! 

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  1. I enjoy attending baseball games, especially if I know at least one of the players, but I have never been to the spring training games. I would imagine it would be a great way to familiarize yourself with the new players on each team, not to mention just the fun of watching the games regardless.

    1. I haven't been to a Spring Training game either, Mouse, but have always wanted to. The opportunity just never presented itself. I have been to many regular season games of both the MLB and minor league teams, which is always fun.

  2. Spring Training is a fantastic experience. In addition to enjoying the beautiful weather you get to see your favorite players up close and personal. My husband and I have been attending since 2007 and thoroughly enjoy our time at spring training. We sit in an area near where the scouts sit and have really enjoyed getting to know several of them. Elf you may remember two former Cardinals that are scouts now that sat by us this year. John Morris and Scipio Spink. I enjoyed talking to them and hearing them reminisce about their years on the Cardinal team. Thanks for an interesting article.

    1. Fun to hear your reminiscences of your St. Louis Cardinals Spring Training games, Mary Beth. I think of you each early Spring down there in Jupiter, Florida enjoying an early peak at our Cardinals. Glad you enjoy it so much. The scouts would definitely be fun to talk with.

  3. Well I'm familiar with the Grapefruit League - Toronto Blue Jays. A few of my relatives have attended spring training games in Florida. I haven't had the chance but would love to. Hard to believe we're back in baseball season - time is marching on!

    1. I'm DELIGHTED we are back in baseball season. The winters are too long and boring with no warm weather and baseball to enjoy. LOL. I'll think good thoughts for your Toronto Blue Jays to have a good season. Thanks for dropping by, Barbara.

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  5. Even though I played little league as a young child, I haven't followed baseball. Even so, this was a fun article. I had no idea about the Cactus league and the Grapefruit league - even though I knew the Orioles went to Florida. Good luck to your team this year.

    1. My brother has attended a Baltimore Orioles game in the past and says that is a gorgeous stadium. Glad you enjoyed my spring training article, Dawn Rae.

  6. We accidentally made it to spring training one year and didn't even know it. Went to Florida for March Break and just around the corner from our motel, there was a ball park and my Blue Jays were there. I could not believe our luck.

    1. What fun that you got to see your Toronto Blue Jays in Spring Training, Olivia. Dunedin and Clearwater, Florida is a fun place to visit.

  7. I have never attended a spring training. But, we enjoy going to ball games as much as we can. That would be our team the Pittsburgh Pirates!!

    1. I remember you are a Pirates fan, Sam. I am basically a National League fan (with a couple exceptions), and most enjoy watching the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. The only American League team I follow is the New York Yankees (because I grew up in NY State!). :) Thanks for visiting.


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