Spring Training Guide: Florida Marlins

Allen Levin@@TheNBAllenCorrespondent IIMarch 2, 2009

1. Location History

The Marlins play their spring training games at Roger Dean Stadium, located in sunny Jupiter, Fla. The exact location is Abacoa, which is located on Donald Ross Road, approximately a quarter-mile east of Interstate 95.

Jupiter is a great baseball location and the city has a rich history. The Marlins moved to Jupiter for Spring Training in 2002 when Jeffrey Loria took over the team.

It is commonly referred to as a "beach town," because of its sunny beaches. Jupiter's most notable landmark is the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, which is known as the city's symbol.

Jupiter has become a popular tourist spot and is the home to many celebrities, such as Tiger Woods and Celine Dion.


2. Park History

Roger Dean Stadium is a relatively new structure, built in 1998. It's decently sized, holding 6,871 people. The $28 million stadium features an array of luxuries. It boasts luxury sky-box seating, two levels of permanent seating, parking, and concessions.

Roger Dean is also unique in that it hosts four minor league teams (only stadium in the country that does that) and two MLB teams. Both the Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals share Roger Dean Stadium in the spring.

The spacious stadium has separate practice fields, outdoor batting cages, pitching mounds, and state-of-the-art conditioning rooms for each team. 


3. My Most Memorable Marlins Spring Training Moments

My most memorable moment at a Florida Marlins Spring Training game was when former Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo personally handed me his bat after a game.

I also have fond memories of getting autographs after every almost every spring training game I attended, including Castillo, Derek Lee, and Dontrelle Willis.


4. The Best Way to Get Autographs

The Marlins are a generous team when it comes to signing autographs. During spring training, most of the players are very willing to give their autographs. The best time to catch them is before the game.

I would recommend getting there an hour to an hour and a half before the game starts and waiting above the team's dugout. They will usually emerge from the dugout and sign autographs or will sign a few on their way back into the dugout.

You could also try after the game by the exit gates, where the players keep their cars, but your best bet is before the game when they're not tired.


5. Best Places to Eat

Some of the best places to eat around the Stadium and in Jupiter are
Rooney's Public House, Grande's Bella Cucina, Asian Fin, Jetty's, and Barrymore's Prime Steaks.

Rooney's is an Irish bar that is less than two-tenths of a mile away form the stadium. Grande's is known for its excellent Italian food, while Jetty's and Barrymore's are more upscale.

As for inside the stadium, concessions can be found around the entire stadium.


6. Best Hotels

There are several top notch hotels in the area. The most recommended places to stay are Homewood Suites by Hilton, Comfort Inn and Suites, and Jupiter Beach Resort. They are reasonably priced, except for Jupiter Beach Resort.

Homewood Suites is known for its spacious and clean rooms, while it also provides a complimentary breakfast.


7. Night Life When Not At a Game

There are plenty of things to do in Jupiter, both day and night, when your not enjoying a Spring Training game. During the day, Carlin Park and Inlet Boat Rentals are popular activities.

Carlin Park is known as a great place where families can have picnics, play at the beach, and enjoy the scenic parks.

2nd Generation Bar & Grill is known as a popular knight life place in Jupiter. It's known by the locals as "2G" and it stays open until two in the morning on weekends.

Blondie's Bar & Grille and Blue Note Cafe are also highly regarded for the night scene. Blondie's is known for its steak, seafood, and drinks. Blue Note has live jazz, stand-up comedy, and a dance floor.

The Florida Marlins are a young team that always showcase a talented roster. Spring training is a great time to see their up and coming players, while also being able to experience the beautiful city of Jupiter. Jupiter holds beaches, great night life, and Roger Dean Stadium, where fans can come and see their Florida Marlins play.


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