For baseball fans, 2018 Spring Training is one of the most exciting times of the year.
2018 Spring Training
Games begin Feb. 24 and run through late March. For fans who make the trip to see teams play in the Grapefruit League in Florida, it’s a chance to see players up close, watch young players compete for jobs and visit the beautiful stadiums scattered around the Sunshine State.
Of course, it’s also a chance to enjoy the great Florida spring weather (not to mention hot dogs, peanuts and a local craft beer) before the summer months roll around.
For baseball fans in Florida, both the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins play their spring training games in the Grapefruit League. It gives fans a chance to see their teams play in a different location, but just a short drive away.
The Rays travel down the southwest Florida coast to Port Charlotte, where they play at the Charlotte Sports Park. The Rays have trained there since 2009 and set attendance records at the park in the years since. It’s a popular spot for fans of the team.
The Marlins travel up the east coast of Florida to Jupiter, where they share Roger Dean Stadium with the St. Louis Cardinals for their home 2018 spring training games. Like most places in Florida, it also has a great beach and this cool lighthouse and museum to visit when you’re not at the game.
There are total of 15 teams that play in the Grapefruit League. In addition to the Rays, Marlins and Cardinals, those teams and locations are:
- Detroit Tigers (Lakeland)
- Houston Astros (West Palm Beach)
- Minnesota Twins (Lee County)
- New York Mets (Port St. Lucie)
- New York Yankees (Tampa)
- Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (Bradenton)
- Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin)
- Washington Nationals (West Palm Beach)
Each stadium offers its own, unique experience. And like Jupiter, each town has its own great beaches, restaurants, pubs, museums and historical sites to visit for baseball fans who want to turn spring training into a mini-vacation (and who doesn’t?).
Keeping The Fun Going
2018 Spring training is a great treat for both out-of-state visitors and Florida residents. For those who live in the Sunshine State and want to keep the baseball fun going, Air Fun Games offers baseball-themed rentals for your own spring training party.
The Tee Ball Game gives players a chance to take a swing at a ball that is “teed up” rather than pitched. It’s a wonderful way for the youngest baseball fans to practice their swing, as well as older fans who never did so well hitting a curveball!
The Inflatable Speed Pitch rental focuses on the other side of the game. Players get to test their pitching prowess by throwing into this 9x9x12 inflatable rental, trying to hit the catcher’s mitt (and not the batter!). It’s a fun way to try out different pitches and see how you measure up to the big leaguers.
This is an exciting time of year to be a baseball fan. Spring training offers an annual treat for fans – a way to relax, enjoy the sunshine and see the players up close. Take advantage of the great weather and check out your favorite team as they get ready for the 2018 MLB season!