Thursday, March 26, 2009

I loved Dodgertown, but I love Port St. Lucie

I'm here in Port St. Lucie (sorry if that gets annoying, but it's a personal victory for me to even be able to be in Florida this Spring Training), and I was walking around outside in the area off NW Peacock Blvd. thinking about how the area has changed since I last spent a night in Port St. Lucie in 2004. It's been a long long time. Every year, as I've driven into Tradition Field, I've marveled at how much more the area has grown. A new shopping center, new hotels (one of them coming soon), entertainment. This whole area was nothing in 2004, aside from the Friendly's (where I had desert tonight), the Hampton Inn, and the corner gas stations, this block was basically empty. (I was later reminded by some regulars here that the Spring Hill Suites where I'm staying was here back then, and actually assumed this name in 2001)

But I realized how much different the trip is when you're staying in a hotel filled with your kind - METS FANS. It's just so much better when you're staying within walking distance of the ballpark that is your "home" park, and there's lots of others here with me.

Dodgertown was a very special place. Very unique. The best place there ever was in Spring Training. And Vero Beach was good to me for 3 years. I loved staying there.

But I love being in Port St. Lucie.

One other note - back home (in NJ, but the same would be true in NY and CT), you have a mix of Mets fans and Yankees fans. Hats, jerseys, etc., for both teams. Here, it's only Mets. You really don't see any Yankees stuff anywhere (even the local Walgreens had a few Mets-themed items, but nothing for the Yankees). That's kind of nice.