Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Palm Beach Cardinals IP Recap

While on vacation in Florida the first week of July, I was able to cross a baseball related goal off my bucket list.  I have been to 3 different Cardinals minor league ball parks in Peoria, Springfield, and Memphis.  Springfield is the longest drive at about 5.5 hours.  The only remaining full season minor league team I have not seen is the Palm Beach Cardinals.  They are located in Jupiter, Florida about 16 hours from my house, but only a 2 hour drive from Orlando where my daughter's dance competition was located.  We made the drive on July 5 to watch them play the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates single A team. 

Tickets were $9 for adults, $7 for 12 and under.  I will say this is the first minor league game that I have been to that was general admission seating.  It was nice to be able to move around the stadium during the game.  Announced attendance was a little over1,100, but I bet there were fewer than 300 people there.  I have read that Florida State League games are not very well attended.  Seeing is believing. 

The small crowd made it easy for my kids to grab some balls, including my son's first foul ball.  The other two were thrown to them after the final out of an inning.  My son had to outrun another boy for the foul ball.  This same boy must have gotten 10-12 balls that night.  If he could not track the ball down himself, he would find the person who did and ask them for it.  If it was an older person, he would usually get it.  By the end of the night, he was being booed if he got a ball from someone else. 

I was able to grab two team sets from the team store at great prices. The top 2015 set was only $5, while the 2016 set was $8.  My son was able to complete his Cardinals minor league mini bat collection also.  My plan for later this fall is to build a display rack to show off the bats along with a ball from each league.

Of course when we go to minor league games, we take the opportunity to get some autographs.  Single A players are very accommodating before game time. Several even took a few minutes to ask my son and daughter about their ball seasons.   

Bilardello is the first manager we have ever gotten.  He commented how old he looks now compared to his 1987 Topps card.

Niemann has served as pitching coach for 3 different Cardinal teams. 

We saw Young play his last game in Peoria on Father's Day.  He hit a homerun in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game at 2.  Palm Beach would win the game in the bottom of the 14th inning.  We did stay for the entire game. 

Seferina was a Florida State League All Star.  He has since been promoted to double A
Springfield.  Diekroeger is going the opposite direction.  He had some time in Springfield, but was demoted.

Spitz plays a decent outfield, but does not hit much.  He also saw some time in Double A this year.  He makes card #20 from the 2016 Chiefs set that we have autographed. 

While my son and I were graphing the home team, my wife and daughter graphed the Marauders side pregame.  I had a few cards from my Trading Bases friend Ron B that he wanted for his Pirates collection.  My wife said all of them were extremely nice.  Good to see considering some of them are top prospects.  I do not know much about these guys, so I will just show the cards.

You can see I should have given them a better sharpie.  This one was retired after the game.  Overall it was a great time.  The small crowd made the game fun.  By the time extra innings rolled around, there might have been 50 people left in the stands.  You could hear about any conversation in the stadium.  We were sitting behind the first base dugout and could hear the relievers along the third base line complaining about the strike zone. 



  1. Thank you Ray for the cards! I appreciate it-now I have to decide if I take them out of the packet. I will blog them when y parents head back to the STL-I will have a few minuets then

  2. I wasn't logged in. Thank you Ray for the cards! I appreciate it-now I have to decide if I take them out of the packet. I will blog them when y parents head back to the STL-I will have a few minuets then

    1. You are welcome. Hard to pass up a team set for that price.