No matter the weather where you are, for many of us the true sign that spring has finally sprung is the Sox in Florida.
But Florida hasn’t always been home for Boston’s regular season warmup.
Heading South, West, Even East
Starting with their 1901 trek in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Red Sox have traveled to Arizona, Arkansas, California, Maryland, New Jersey, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and even stayed in Massachusetts for Spring Training. The crew here, including Babe Ruth and Dutch Leonard, are shown enjoying Hot Springs, AR in 1915.
The first Red Sox Spring Training trip to Florida was in Tampa in 1919. The Sox would return to Florida but not before eight seasons in places as far flung as San Antonio, TX and New Orleans, LA. Boston headed back to the Sunshine State in the late 1920s, spending 1928-29 in Bradenton and then 1930-31 in Pensacola.
The 1932 Red Sox readied for the new season in Savannah, marking the club’s return to Georgia for the first time since 1906.
Starting in 1933 and for the next 10 years, Boston’s springtime headquarters was Sarasota, FL. And they may well have stayed in Florida had it not been for travel restrictions imposed by World War II.
With the war raging, the 1943 Red Sox stayed close to home and worked out for the regular season on the campus of Tufts University in nearby Medford, Massachusetts. In 1944 and 1945, at the direction of Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the club again stayed north and closer to home, working out in Baltimore, MD and Pleasantville, NJ, respectively.
Florida once again became Red Sox Spring Training destination in 1946 and, with the exception of seven years spent in Scottsdale, AZ (1959-65), has been so ever since.
Today’s Home at JetBlue
2016 marks the fifth straight year the Red Sox have settled into JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Lee County, FL.
This year’s first Spring Training game will be on February 29th. Last season, the Red Sox went 17-12 in pre-season games and drew 148,862 fans. It was Boston’s first winning Spring Training record since going 16-11-4 in 2012.
After the traditional, split-squad games vs Northeastern University and Boston College on February 29th, the club faces the Twins at home at 1:05 ET on Tuesday, March 1.
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