Spring training will be returning to Al Lang Field and St. Petersburg in 2011, as three international teams will train there and other St. Pete sites while playing some exhibition games against MLB teams — and more may be on the way.
The city is holding a press conference this morning to announce that the Canadian, Australian and Dutch national teams will be training in St. Petersburg and playing games at Al Lang Field, both against each other and against MLB teams. No word yet on when the teams would train or what MLB teams would agree to exhibition games.
This is great news for baseball fans. Al Lang Field, even in its present state, is a great place to take in a spring-training game. The ballpark in its current form was the former spring home to the Tampa Bay Rays; a previous incarnation hosted the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets, among others. Since the Rays moved to Charlotte County the ballpark has played host to college games, but the presence of the international teams ups the ante considerably.
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