St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Tampa Bay Rays senior advisor Dick Crippen and former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Litsch, from Pinellas Park, were among those who gathered at the St. Petersburg Museum of History on Thursday to commemorate 100 years of spring training in the city.
The Chicago Cubs defeated the St. Louis Browns 3-2 at Coffee Pot Park on Feb. 27, 1914. The Tampa Bay region has been a spring training ground for numerous major league baseball teams ever since. The Toronto Blue Jays (Dunedin), Philadelphia Phillies (Clearwater) and New York Yankees (Tampa) currently train in the area.
The 2014 spring training game schedule begins today for the Rays as they host the Baltimore Orioles at the Rays training facility in Port Charlotte.
The museum’s exhibition of “Schrader’s Little Cooperstown” has the world’s largest private collection of autographed baseballs on loan from Oldsmar resident Dennis Schrader as part of the historic celebration and commencement of the fourth season of Spring International Baseball at Al Lang Stadium, March 9-16.
From staff reports