Stories indexed with the term ‘friendship’

Column: Loyalty for Lakeland

John U. Bacon

John U. Bacon

Almost all of the major league baseball’s 30 teams have moved their spring training camps in the past three decades, and fully half of them now play in Arizona. Stay-at-home stalwarts like the Cincinnati Reds trained in Tampa for 52 years before moving to Plant City in 1988, then to Sarasota a decade later, then finally to Goodyear, Arizona, last year.

Even the Los Angeles Dodgers, who created Dodgertown 62 years ago in Vero Beach to provide a safe haven for Jackie Robinson and other black players, also bolted for Arizona last year.

Baseball teams have been city-swapping their spring training sites like swingers in a – well, a bad movie about swingers, I guess.

In this permissive environment, the Detroit Tigers stand as a pillar of fidelity. Except for three years during World War II, the Tigers have trained in Lakeland, Florida every year since 1934. That’s 74 seasons, by far the longest marriage in the major leagues. [Full Story]