Swinging in the Sun: The History and Business of Spring Baseball

Brooklyn_Dodgers_spring_training-_Vero_Beach,_Florida_(7132238793)

Brooklyn Dodgers Spring Training 1949 – Vero Beach, Florida

From AHA Today by Zoe Jackson:

Each year, in a tradition dating back over a century, major league clubs head to warm locales in the southern United States to play baseball before the regular season starts. And each year, in a tradition dating back almost as long, hometown fans and newspaper reporters follow. The history of spring training is a history of both business and media. 

Before the Grapefruit League, which currently consists of 15 major league baseball clubs who conduct their spring training in Florida, and the Cactus League, consisting of 15 clubs training in Arizona, spring training was a more spontaneous affair. In 1870, a year after becoming the first fully professional team in baseball, the Cincinnati Reds started their second season by going down to New Orleans and playing the first games of the season in the South. The Chicago White Stockings, which later became the Chicago Cubs, also started that season in New Orleans. Over the next decade, more professional and amateur teams started heading to cities in the South to kick off their seasons. As Charles Fountain describes in Under the March Sun (2009), spring training in this period was mostly about conditioning rather than improving baseball skills. Players spent their days taking long hikes or doing bodyweight exercises to lose the weight they’d gained over the winter and to get back in shape for the season. Not all teams planned for spring training far in advance, or even participated in it.

Read the rest of the article at AHA Today

Advertisements


Categories: Sports History

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: