A few weeks ago, Redleg Nation contributor Tom reviewed (and recommended) a nice new book by Alan Byrd: “Florida Spring Training: Your Guide to Touring the Grapefruit League.” I had recently read the book, and was planning to review it myself when Tom jumped ahead of me in line.
However, since pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training, I just wanted to mention the book one more time. If you’re like me, you’ve always wanted to make a Spring Training trip…or maybe you have been lucky enough to experience it. Either way, this book has something for you, and it may push you into actually starting to make plans for a trip to Sarasota.
Over at Baseball Musings, David mentioned the book recently, and he gives a good overview:
Alan attended games at each stadium and gives you a real feel for what the ballpark is like. He lists the pros and cons, the beautiful and the ugly. For each park, a general introduction is followed by specifics on everything from, food to shade to how to exit the parking lot quickly. He tells you where it’s easy to get autographs, where to stay in the area, and where to get food or drink before and after the game.
A perfect example of the value of the book is in the section on getting autographs at Chain of Lakes Park, the home of the Indians. After explaining the difficulties of meeting Indians players caused by the layout of the stands, he gives you detailed instructions for meeting Bob Feller and obtaining an autographed picture. The book makes his learned experiences yours. It’s the perfect guide if you’re headed to the Grapefruit League this year.
I agree with that in its entirety. If you are planning to go see the Reds in Florida, the chapter on Ed Smith Stadium is packed full of tips so that you can make the most of the trip. Everything is covered, from directions, hotels, hints about parking, tickets, concessions, autographs, and attractions in the immediate area.
Another nice part of the book is Byrd’s five week-long touring itineraries that will allow you to immerse yourself in the game as it exists during the spring.
Good stuff. Go buy it.