by Wildcat Dianne
March 24, 2009
City of Palms Park is located in Fort Myers, Florida and is known for being the Spring Training home of Yours Truly's beloved Boston Red Sox. From 1965-1993, the Red Sox had their Spring Training camp in Winter Haven, which is in North Central Florida. But the people of Fort Myers wanted a Major League baseball team to train in their city and the populace along with former Red Sox leftfielder and Fort Myers native Mike "Gator" Greenwell started the efforts to get the Red Sox to the City of Palms along with a new stadium known that was built in 1992.
City of Palms Park is quite the facility with five baseball fields with dugouts and bullpens, and the main field where the Red Sox play has a big clubhouse with a big meeting room and a sizeable Trainer/Therapy facility for players to rehabilitate after injuries or surgeries.
The Minnesota Twins also train in Fort Myers, and their stadium, Hammond Stadium is located in the southern end of Fort Myers. City of Palms Park is also home to the Red Sox rookie team, the Gulf Coast League Red Sox from April to June and when baseball isn't in action at the park, it is used for concerts and other events.
The Boston Red Sox will be getting a new Spring Training facility in three to four years, and plans have been going on since last year to design a new park along with finding a suitable location in Fort Myers. When I was in Fort Myers last week, I heard on the local news that the first prospective locations are located south of Hammond Stadium or near Florida Gulf Coast University, but a definite location won't be determined until final plans from the developers come into the Red Sox front office.
Until the new City of Palms Park is built, enjoy a great time at the current facility located on Edison Avenue in North Fort Myers. Built to hold at about 8,000 fans, it's a smaller park than Fenway Park in Boston, but you can see the World Series Pennants near the Red Sox Bullpen in left field along with the retired jerseys of Red Sox greats Bobby Doerr (#1), Joe Cronin (#4), Johnny Pesky (#6), Carl Yasztremski (#8), Ted Williams (#9), and Carlton Fisk (#27) along with Jackie Robinson's #42 which is retired throughout Major League Baseball near Right Field. Later this year, Red Sox fans are hoping that Jim Rice's #14 will be retired around the time "Jim Ed" is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Tickets are cheaper than most Major League ballparks but you must get them early or be left outside the park looking in. For tickets and more information on City of Palms Park, go to www.redsox.com.
From journal In Search of Big Papi: Spring Training in Fort Myers