Mar 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm
Fort Myers, Fla. (KNSI) - Yes, yes they do play "Win Twins" or whatever the official name of the ditty is, as the team hits the field to start the game here at Hammond Stadium. And with that, it is Twins Baseball time in Southwest Florida.
We're past the 7th inning stretch here in Ft. Myers and there are a few things I've noticed walking around the ball park for the first time during a game.
First off, there are throngs of people here. Not sure the official definition of a throng, but I have the feeling it is a little bit like the stands at Hammond this afternoon. That could be because today set the record for the largest spring crowd in stadium history at 8,366.
With 6,225 fans in attendance on average this year prior to today's game, the Twins are about 1,000 fans below their spring per-game average last year. That was on the high end though and the Twins are just 200 fans off of their pace all time for attendance here in Lee County.
The next thing you notice, all the food. And there is a lot of it. Brats, burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, cheese-steak, ice cream and beer.
For me I went to the "Char Stand" to sample some grill items including the Mac and Cheese Burger(Fantastic) and their interpretation of a ballpark frank(Everything you could hope for). Then it was out to the right field foul line terrace for a Sweet Potato Sundae(Decadent). The latter came from a specialty stand featuring a state fair theme. Cheese curds and funnel cake fries are also consistently sizzling.
When you've stuffed yourself and you begin to meander towards your seat finally, you will notice some excellent sight lines. Save for perhaps the far 3rd base corner of the press box(Woe is me), there is not a bad seat in the house. Your summertime heroes are on display from any fan vantage point.
The final thing I want to mention that I noticed, was hard to miss. Back to back home runs from Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit. The deep balls were the 2nd for each slugger who were in the line-up where they will likely be this year, namely the 5/6 spots in the order.
That kind of power through the middle of the order would be a welcome sight for a team that could at times need runs aplenty to stay in games. We'll talk more about that middle of the order when I join Matt Wood, Brandon Kraft and Don Lyons on "The Benchwarmers" on KNSI tomorrow afternoon.
All in all, a day game at Hammond Stadium is a wholly pleasant experience. Food, fun and baseball, all in a tremendous atmosphere.
Once the game wraps up I will be headed to the hotel for some R&R before a jam packed Saturday morning on KNSI. But check back here on knsiradio.com tonight to hear some of the other interviews I've done in Ft. Myers this week, including a conversation with pitcher Scott Diamond.
Before I sign off from the park for today, my final thought. All good things come to those who wait. So just let the game come to you because even after a rain out, it will.
KNSI's coverage of Twins Spring Training, directly from Fort Myers is brought to you by Foley Lumber and Milaca Building Center, Jackson Hewitt, Bristow's and New York Gyro. Hear J.W. all throughout the day on the KNSI Morning Show with Don Lyons, The Bob Hughes Show and Ox in the Afternoon. Coverage continues this weekend on the KNSI Saturday Morning Show with Dave Phipps and The Benchwarmers.
Temp: 40°F (4°C)
Wind: 4 SE