Saturday, January 26, 2008

Never too early for baseball

JUPITER, Fla. - Baseball comes early to year-round residents of Florida.

Roger Dean Stadium - spring training home of the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, and the Florida State League's Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals – held their Funfest today under a blue sky and 70-degree weather.


This is the first year RDS has attempted to make an event out of distributing tickets. Anyone who stops by the park today is allowed onto the field to run the bases or play catch. Major league players are signing autographs. There are temporary tattoos, bounce houses and free food.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

The only drawback was that RDS also held tryouts for National Anthem singers. Right now a 6-year-old girl who’s proclaimed to be the “lizard catcher of the world” is giving it a go. She wasn’t doing to badly until just now, when she forgot the words. That seems to be a trend today.

There is also music outside provided by a band that contains former major leaguer and current Marlins broadcaster Tommy Hutton’s son, Derek. The Dugout first met Derek while he was playing second base for Florida Atlantic University. The band sounds pretty good, offering a selection that includes Matchbox 20, U2 and Bob Seger.

So, yeah, there is still a week left in January. Heck, people are still planning their Super Bowl parties. But, fear not. Baseball is in the air.

Now, The Dugout has to walk across the street from the ballpark, where the community is hosting its second-annual Beerfest. There are more than 100 micro brews for the tasting.
Somebody has to do it…

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