St. Petersburg, FL
Parks # 47 and 48
What I Remember
A rainy Wednesday the day before worked to our benefit because both of the teams we would see thirty years ago today were playing doubleheaders. We were staying with family friends in Sarasota on this stretch of the trip so we drove up to St. Petersburg in the late afternoon to catch the first game of the Cardinal’s doubleheader and then headed back down the Sunshine Skyway to see the Sarasota White Sox play the second game of theirs.
The city of St. Petersburg did not end up getting one of the expansion franchises in 1992 but when it finally did a few years later it was certainly a win for the Tampa Bay area. However, it also marked the beginning of the end of baseball at one of the prettiest ballparks we saw in 1991. The seats at Al Lang Stadium in St. Pete looked out on palm trees and the Tampa Bay just beyond the outfield wall. More than once, I found myself watching boats moving around the Bay.
Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota had no such backdrop and I remember it as fairly non-descript. But although the stadium no longer hosts a Class-A team, the Baltimore Orioles use the stadium now for spring training.
St. Petersburg Cardinals 3 Miami Miracle 0 (G1)
Vero Beach Dodgers 3 Sarasota White Sox 1 (G2)
The Boxes: (Click on the arrows to see more images)
Among the artifacts in today’s boxes gallery you will find a photo of Brad Beanblossom who had one of the great names in all of baseball in 1991. Alas, his professional career lasted just three seasons and he topped out the next year at Triple-A.
You will also find a picture of Pete Rose Junior to the right of the middle row in the Sarasota White Sox team photo. The son of the all-time hits leader played almost all of his career in the minors though he did make it to the big leagues for eleven games with the Reds in 1997.