Parks # 43 and 44
What I Remember
This Tuesday night, thirty years ago this evening, was another Double Dip.
Our games in Clearwater and Dunedin, Florida were held on one of the 17 days on “Bill & Sue’s Excellent Adventure,” in which we saw two parks in the same day. Unlike some of them, however, where we regrettably missed a bunch of the action going from one park to another, we missed very little in driving between these two parks…they are just seven miles apart on Florida’s Gulf Coast north of Tampa. If you ever want to see games in two parks on the same day and the games are happening simultaneously, this is where I would send you.
I also remember Wilbur Snapp in Clearwater. His duties as a real-live organist already made him somewhat unusual in minor league ballparks but he played his organ right from the grandstand at Jack Russell Stadium. He told us that he had once been “thrown out” of a game by the home plate umpire after playing “three blind mice” in response to a disputed call.
Osceola Astros 3 Clearwater Phillies 2 (G1)
Dunedin Blue Jays 2 St. Petersburg Cardinals 1
The Boxes: (Click the arrows to see more images)
A reporter from the Tampa Tribune had arranged to meet us in Clearwater and he interviewed us while we watched the first game of our doubleheader that day. His story appeared the next day and, as you will see in the days ahead, had a lasting impact on the prospects for our trip. The article is included in the image gallery below.
A side note about Dunedin Stadium, now known as TD Ballpark in Dunedin. Because of the difficulties surrounding the crossing of the Canadian border because of Covid-19, the Toronto Blue Jays have been playing their home games in Dunedin this spring. I believe that the 22 miles separating them from the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg is the closest two MLB teams in the same league have been to each other since the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants last played in 1957. Run that one by your friends at your Friday gatherings.