Kids dream about watching their baseball idols play ball.
Sure, you can go to the nearest ballpark (assuming one is close by) during the thick of baseball season. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a seat somewhat close to the field. A player may even glance your way.
Here’s a better idea–spend your vacation in central Florida during the March spring training season. In addition to being right next to the best theme parks in the world, you and your youngster can watch the big name players in the intimate setting of a spring training ballpark.
One of the best venues is the Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, spring training home of the Houston Astros, and just a stone’s throw from Disney World. (Also, the Atlanta Braves have their spring training in a wonderful facility inside Disney World!)
In these smaller ballparks all the seats are close to the field and it’s much easier to see the players and get into the feel of the game. ”You can even hear the grunts and all the infield chatter,” remarked one of my colleagues as we toured the Astros spring training complex.
The ballpark is more intimate, the tickets are much cheaper, the fans are enthusiastic, the facilities are first rate and they play all the other big league teams. They even have an “autograph alley” down the third base line where your youngster can fulfill their fantasy of rubbing shoulders with one of the game’s great players.
Pete Rodriquez is the Sports Facility Manager responsible for the Osceola County Stadium Complex. He gave LanceAround a tour of the facility, including this photo of him posing in the full body spa. He says the spa can be heated before the game to loosen the muscles or made cold after the game to reduce the swelling.
Heck, where I come from we just call this a swimming pool!It’s an impressive facility–as you would expect for a place that caters to multi-million dollar sports stars. Yet, of the millions of tourists who come to this area, relatively few of them ever see it. For the lucky readers of my blog who are searching for “more than a mouse”™ a Houston Astros or Atlanta Braves spring training game is a perfect change of pace.