Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Legends Field: Where Legends are Born

In 1996 prior to their first World Championship in over a decade and a half, the Yankees moved their Spring Training operations from Fort Lauderdale some four hours north to Tampa, where a first-class complex was built directly across the highway from Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Raymond James Stadium.

During my spring scouting trip, the first thing on my list of things to do was attend a game at Legends Field, which will be fittingly re-named Steinbrenner Field in the next few months. Here are some observations from the Astros vs. Yankees game I was in the house for:

- The seats were built for very fat people. I have never seen such wide comfortable seats in a ballpark. Seats are also angled towards home plate so that you don't even have to slightly move your lazy neck to see every pitch.

- I highly recommend "The Scooter Dog" for a mere $2.50, this was the only stadium item less expensive than at Bright House Networks Field (hot dogs there were $3).

- In his first appearance of the Spring, Mariano Rivera failed to disappoint, pitching a perfect inning of relief after Andy Pettitte started the game and went three strong innings.

- Goose Gossage has a mustache. He was in the dugout in full uniform and his 'stache has been officially confirmed. Congrats to the recent Hall of Fame inductee on his facial hair growing prowess.

- Brett Gardner has some serious wheels and a gun too. Mid-level OF prospect started the game in left field and chipped in with an impressive outfield assist where he nailed a runner at the plate on a great throw from left field and also had an RBI triple.

- Former Yankee pitcher and current Astro Shawn Chacon started the game for the 'stros wearing uniform #1. I don't think a pitcher has ever worn the 'Numero Uno' on his back but let's just wait and see if Chacon even makes the squad before we get our panties in a bunch.

- No Tiki Bar = by far and away the only disappointing part of this experience.

- A Mini Monument Park resides right outside the stadium entrance, yet another classy move by this timeless organization.

- Great place for single 60+ males to pick up some hot chicks.

I would highly recommend a trip to Legends Field to all baseball fans, families, Vietnam War Veterans, people with Down Syndrome and most importantly for those with multiple personalities. It is a welcoming place for all to come, relax, and enjoy a completely meaningless baseball game!

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