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Visiting Hammond Stadium

The first thing I'll tell you about my trip to Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Ft. Myers, FL is this: I was not prepared for how great my experience was going to be. The stadium itself is gorgeous - newly remodeled and updated, it's an absolutely beautiful building that fits in so perfectly with the Florida background.

Hammond entrance

Photo taken 3/11/2016

The open, spacious layout combined with the plantation-style white building definitely gives off a feeling of being in The South. The place itself, once you're inside, feels very much like a miniature Target Field (they even use the same font and colors on their signs). We'd picked our seats to be in the newly-created concourse on the third base line. Our view from these seats was...well, see for yourself:

From third base concourse

Photo taken 3/11/2016

Now that we were seated, I was more than ready for outdoor baseball in warm, sunny Florida (and on this point, I am not exaggerating. It was about 86 degrees this day). The sun was shining, and I was watching my favorite team in a beautiful ballpark in great weather - what could possibly go wrong?

I'm sure you know by now, but if not -- SPOILER ALERT -- the Twins lost this game to the Florida Marlins, 6-5. The most concerning thing I saw was the pitching (as unsurprising as that sounds). Kyle Gibson started rough, and it just kind of continued from there. There were a couple of nice plays in the field (a great snag from both Eduardo Escobar and Buck Britton), but the pitching dragged much of the game.

One thing I was most excited about was the chance to see Byung-Ho Park play and, because this was the perfect baseball day, he not only played, he smacked a homer to left field. The fielding from Park wasn't inspiring, but I'll chalk it up to an off day for now.

I took a couple pictures of some of the players as they warmed up in front of us:

Brian Dozier

Please ignore giant head in photo - taken 3/11/2016

Byung-Ho Park
Photo taken 3/11/2016

Max Kepler
Photo taken 3/11/2016

We also spotted TC, who made the trip down to Ft. Myers with his sunglasses and an attitude.

Photo taken 3/11/2016

Even though the Twins lost, and I ended up with the worst sunburn I've ever had, there's no doubt in my mind I'll be headed back to Hammond Stadium for another Spring Training game. The atmosphere was great, watching baseball in the sunshine in March is fantastic, and the park is modern and offers so much to ensure you have a great time (but please, bring your own sunscreen or you'll end up paying $14 for a single bottle...). Also, if you plan on eating or drinking something that you didn't bring yourself, make sure you have a good amount of cash on you. It looks like the Target Field design AND prices made their way down to Ft. Myers.

Photo taken 3/11/2016