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Baseball has deep roots in Jacksonville that spread back to 1888, when we hosted Major League Baseball’s first Spring Training. It was not until 1904 when pro baseball was actually established in the River City with the Jacksonville Jays at Dixieland Park.
Jacksonville fans were privileged to see famous names such as Hank Aaron, Hoyt Wilhelm, Phil Niekro and Nolan Ryan at the plate. In 1962, minor league baseball in Jacksonville was born and in 1970 the team was welcomed into the Southern League, the longest consecutive association of any city with an AA minor league team. Jacksonville owns one of the richest baseball histories in the nation, get out there and explore it! Start with a self-guided tour at J.P. Smalls Memorial Stadium better known as Durkee Field. This field has hosted spring trainings and exhibition games of the major league teams, as well as home to several minor league teams such as the Jacksonville Tars (Jacksonville Braves) and the Jacksonville Red Caps of the Negro League. Then head over to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, be sure to snag a photo with the Rookie Card sculpture behind the stadium.
The Baseball Ground of Jacksonville are home to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp opened their 2017 season on April 12, 2017, with crowd-breaking numbers..over 41,000 fans attended the opening homestand. Whether you’re visiting Jacksonville, or living in the city, a night out at the ballpark is a fun spot for the entire family. One of my favorite nights to attend a game is Friday for the post-game firework show. However, if I were a kid again I might consider Sunday afternoon…. kids get to play catch in the outfield before the game and run the bases after the game! Check out a full list of promotions here!
Grab your glove and get out for some affordable family fun this Summer, choose from of over 70 games from the 2017 schedule!
photo credit: Culture Council of Jacksonville
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