Disney World!

I’m going to Disney World…literally.

Remember when the (Devil) Rays played three regular season games last year against the Rangers at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex? Somehow, I didn’t find out it was happening until it was too late, and I’ve always regretted it.

Well, the Rays recently announced that they’ll be playing another series there this season, and I jumped at the chance to go. I bought tickets to all three games, booked a roundtrip flight, and got myself a room in a non-Disney hotel, thank you very much. No way I was gonna stay at a place like this. I’m not interested in Cinderellabration. This trip is about seeing real Major League Baseball games at a Spring Training facility. How cool is that? I mean, just LOOK at the place…


…and yes, the balls I snag there will definitely count in my major league collection. Last year, when Sammy Sosa hit his 597th career home run at Disney, everyone made a big deal about the fact that it was the 45th stadium in which he’d gone yard. Guess what. If it counts for Sosa, it counts for me. Assuming I somehow manage to avoid returning to New York City empty-handed, it’ll be my 43rd stadium in which I’ve snagged at least one ball.


  1. joneli24@yahoo.com

    it looks like it may be rather tough for a snagger…no seats down the LF line deep in the OF, nothing in strait away LF…but im sure since the park only holds what is it just under 9000? and im sure many of them wont go to BP then it shouldnt be too tough to get some from pitchers throwing…but maybe theyll do like a minor league thing and let people camp out on that field in LF and sled and dive down and whatnot?

    idk im not an expert…

  2. padreleigh@hotmail.com

    Hi Zack….

    Looks like I’ll see you there. I’m thinking about camping out on the berm in deep, left center. If there is a homer, that’s where it will be. Plenty of foul ball opportunity deep down the left field line too.

    See you there…


  3. ceetar@gmail.com

    Where’d you end up buying the tickets? The thing that bothers me is that they supposedly are doing this to attract more of a fan base, but wouldn’t it make more sense to just make games affordable? The cheapest ticket there is more than 3x the cheapest ticket at Shea.

  4. munkittr@ufl.edu

    Couldn’t agree more about the ticket pricing. I’m a Rays season ticket holder (yes, we exist), and for those games that were originally supposed to be home games, they wouldn’t allow us to switch out 1 for one for the Orlando series. At least they gave us a pro-rata refund for the games.

    IIRC, last year, Matt Stairs threw his warmup ball to fans at the top of every inning, so be on the lookout for that.

  5. gregorybarasch@yahoo.com

    This sounds like a lot of fun. Hopefully, they’ll let you go out to that grass berm out in LF. You’ll have a field day! What happens if you snag like 35 balls at each game? Would you then still count the balls? Because that seems like you’d be distorting all your records at actual MLB parks. Just a thought. What do you think?

  6. redsox342445@yahoo.com

    dude that is sweet…..where did u end up getting seats at? maybe you’ll be able to get there for early bp and stand behind the grass. im sure some will go over unless its a lot further away than it looks….good luck at any rate!!

  7. espnewyork8@aol.com

    Zack- I’ve been to that stadium atleast 100 times b/c they have AAU stuff at the “Milk House” right next door(i once saw john rocker in the gym downstairs)…its an amazing facility and im sure you’ll snag plenty of balls..behind the left field wall where that hill goes down is a small fence and that little green building you see is pitching cages…im sure that will be a prime spot….btw, their might be a long line, but check out the restuarant across from the stadium

  8. wcimons@optonline.net

    Man, I looked up the tickets and if you wanted to spend the big buckks for all three games, you could get first row to the side of the dugouts! Good luck!

  9. dcollins3073@sbcglobal.net

    Zack-I’m going to Spring Training at Vero Beach for the first time ever. Do you have any suggestions for getting autographs or what to expect?

  10. tracycollinsbecky@yahoo.com

    orlando is cool for home runs ,be ready 1 st pitch of game,elijah dukes hit one last year//see it at -rangers.com/multimedia/top plays archive/click upper r/h corner”theoriginalmediaplayer” then may 15 ,16,17 2007 stand by disney logo
    lf see you on espn /wheres waldo shirt?padreleigh money is on you .

  11. goislanders4@aol.com

    is that the braves spring training home? it says braves on the dugout.

    to dcollins

    you dont really need suggestions. just show up and players are swarming the parking lots, the training fields and everywhere.

  12. munkittr@ufl.edu

    BTW, Zach email me if you have any interest/availability to go to the Rays games against the Sox and Sawx that bumper the Toronto series. I could help you out w/ tix and a place to stay.


  13. Zack

    No no no, the lack of seats IS what’s gonna make it a great place to snag. Lawn seating, baby. Fans are allowed to hang out there. The capacity, BTW, is 9,500.


    Can’t wait. We’re going to have a great time. (And I owe you an email…)


    I bought a ticket in the bleachers on the right field side. I tried to buy lawn seating, but I guess it was sold out.


    Thanks for the heads-up about Matt Stairs…AND…thanks for the Sox/Saux offer. As tempting as it is to stick around for an extra few days in Florida, I think I should really get back home to NYC. I’ve already paid for my flights anyway, so I’d be looking at a fine at this point if I wanted to change them. I’ll get back to you if anything changes.


    Records from the steroids era count, not to mention records from a pre-humidor Coors Field, so if I blow my numbers out of the water in Orlando…so be it. It’s major league baseball, plain and simple. It’s not my fault where it’s being played, you know?


    Very sweet. See my comment above to “ceetar” for my seat location. There’s no telling, however, whether I’ll actually end up staying there.


    Thanks. This place keeps sounding better and better. What’s the name of the restaurant?


    Bah, I’ll just sneak down there for free.


    Actually, I don’t have any suggestiions because I haven’t been to Spring Training since 1995. But as “goislanders4” mentioned a few comments below yours, it’s all pretty simple. Just show up early and be ready because there are often players wandering around in not-so-obvious places.


    I suppose I could take my Waldo shirt down to Orlando and break it out on the final day if I’m gonna be in the outfield. I don’t know about the cowboy hat, though…


    Yup, home of the Braves.


    Believe me, I’ve thought about that.

  14. joneli24@yahoo.com

    yes thats what i figured…im sure you have all this planned out before you actually made plans

  15. cubs0110@aol.com

    Cubs tickets went on sale today. I got 10 games including a Cubs/Sox and opening day. There are also a few games I might get standing room the day of the game.

    I’m going to 1 or 2 Rockies games in hopes of a WS ball from BP.

    I’m going to sit in the bleachers 4 times in hopes of getting my first home run ball during a game (I cam REALLY close 2 times last year)

    So Zack, are you going to buy any tickets in advance this year?

  16. Zack

    I still would’ve booked myself a trip to this stadium even if fans were not allowed on the grass, so it’s a great bonus that fans ARE allowed to hang out there.


    Probably just for my “Watch With Zack” clients who don’t already have them.





  17. Brenton

    I’m a Rays fan, so it’s great to hear that you’re going to this series. I go to a Braves Spring Training game every year there, and this year my two favorite teams (Braves and Rays) play there and I’ll be seeing it. Getting a ball in the lower levels may not be so difficult, but I’ve never sat down there…it’s tough throughout most of the stadium. Good luck trying, I would like to see the results.



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