Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Future of Baseball in St Petersburg

There are plaques lining Central Avenue, a main thoroughfare in St. Petersburg, that tell of the city's baseball history.

The St Petersburg Saints played their first game in 1902.

The Philadelphia Phillies spring trained in St. Petersburg from 1915-1918.

The Saints joined the Florida State League in 1920.

There are neighborhood practice fields named after Miller Huggins and Casey Stengel, managers of the Yankees when they trained in St. Petersburg from 1924-1942, 1946-1950, and 1952-1960.

The largest private collection of autographed baseballs in the world is in St. Petersburg.

The city was flirted with and then fought to bring Major League Baseball to the area.

Minor League Baseball ended in St. Petersburg in 2000, when the Devil Rays decided to move their affiliate to Bakersfield, California.

In 2008, the Tampa Bay Rays moved their Spring Training from St. Petersburg to Port Charlotte.

Earlier this year, Al Lang Stadium, home to baseball since 1946, was sold off to soccer.

Soon, the Rays might enter a deal that would mark the end of professional baseball in St. Petersburg.

What would Al Lang think?

(I've shared this video before, but it's one of my favorite videos on youtube.)