In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of exhibition games which precedes the regular season. It serves the purpose of both auditioning players for final roster/position spots and giving players practice prior to competitive play.
Spring training typically lasts two months, beginning in early February and lasting until a few days before opening day (commonly the first week of April). Pitchers and catchers, however, usually begin training a week or two earlier than position players (usually the last few weeks of February) since pitchers endure more physical wear and tear and thus benefit from a longer training period. Many people come to Spring Training games from cold climates to enjoy the Spring weather and to watch their favorite teams play.
While Florida and Arizona now host all Major League Baseball teams for spring training, this has not always been the case. The Brooklyn Dodgers trained for several years in Havana, Cuba. During World War II, most teams held an abbreviated spring training within easy reach of their cities. And until big league baseball reached the West Coast, a number of teams trained in California.
Spring training locations by team Edit
In modern spring training, teams that train in Florida will play other Florida-training teams in their exhibition games, regardless of regular season league affiliations. Likewise, Arizona-training teams will play other Arizona teams. These have been nicknamed the Grapefruit League and Cactus League respectively, after plants typical of the respective states.
Grapefruit League (held in Florida) Edit
- Atlanta Braves - Ballpark (Cracker Jack Stadium) at Disney's Wide World of Sports, Lake Buena Vista
- Baltimore Orioles - Fort Lauderdale Stadium, Ft. Lauderdale
- Boston Red Sox - City of Palms Park, Fort Myers
- Cincinnati Reds - Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota
- Cleveland Indians - Chain of Lakes Park, Winter Haven
- Detroit Tigers - Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland
- Florida Marlins - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
- Houston Astros - Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee
- Los Angeles Dodgers - Holman Stadium, Vero Beach
- Minnesota Twins - Hammond Stadium, Ft. Myers
- New York Mets - Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie
- New York Yankees - Legends Field, Tampa
- Philadelphia Phillies - Bright House Networks Field, Clearwater
- Pittsburgh Pirates - McKechnie Field, Bradenton
- St. Louis Cardinals - Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter
- Tampa Bay Devil Rays - Florida Power Park, St. Petersburg
- Toronto Blue Jays - Dunedin Stadium at Grant Field, Dunedin
- Washington Nationals - Space Coast Stadium, Viera
Cactus League (held in Arizona) Edit
- Arizona Diamondbacks - Tucson Electric Park, Tucson
- Chicago Cubs - HoHoKam Park, Mesa
- Chicago White Sox - Tucson Electric Park, Tucson
- Colorado Rockies - Hi Corbett Field, Tucson
- Kansas City Royals - Surprise Stadium, Surprise
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe
- Milwaukee Brewers - Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix
- Oakland Athletics - Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix
- San Diego Padres - Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria
- San Francisco Giants - Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale
- Seattle Mariners - Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria
- Texas Rangers - Surprise Stadium, Surprise
- Spring Training Magazine Information
- Spring Training Tips - A guide to enjoying everything about Spring Training
Trivia Although perfect games only are official during the regular season or postseason one was thrown by the Boston Red Sox. On March 14 2000, The Red Sox used 6 pitchers to achieve a 5-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Ironically the starting pitcher was Pedro Martinez who lost a perfect game in 1995 while pitching for the former Montreal Expos now known as the Washington Nationals.