Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tradition Field and Port St. Lucie/West Palm Beach to Jacksonville: Spring Training Part 4

(Flickr User Corn Farmer/CC)
Tradition Field
Our journey up Interstate 95 in Florida continues as  we return to our series on Spring Training ball parks. Port St Lucie has a New Urbanist neighborhood development that celebrates the feel of small town America. The name of that development is Tradition. It is the home of Tradition Field, the Spring Training home of the New York Mets.

(From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository)

Tradition Field was built in 1998. It was originally named Thomas J Wright stadium for one of its builders, who was also a key backer in bringing Major League Baseball to Port St Lucie. In 2004 Care Communities,LLC bid on the naming rights to change the name to Tradition Field capitalizing on the Tradition name that they were using for their new planned community. These days stadiums names are to be bought and sold and in 2010 the stadium was renamed Digital Domain Park. The name held for two years until 2012 when the agreement expired and the Mets decided to revert the name of the field back to Tradition Field where it remains today.

(From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository)

A 2012 renovation upgraded the park. It seats 7,160 and it continues to draw Mets fans every spring.

From Tradition Field we pull back to look at what else Port St. Lucie has to offer.

Nature Attacks
(Flickr User kakela/CC)
Nature can be a bit cruel to Port St Lucie. The city is on the hurricane battered Atlantic Coast of Florida and has been hit by in 2004 Hurricane Jeanne, the 12th largest Atlantic hurricane in history touched down here. Winds of up to 120mph battered the community. YouTube gives us an eyewitness view.

If being battered by hurricanes isn't enough of a problem, the maybe toxic algae is more your style of disaster, Sadly the St. Lucie River has been the site of toxic algae blooms. Releases of carp have helped to reduce the problem.

Still the city is loved by many of its residents, and it DOES look like a nice place overall. Here are a couple of clips proclaiming its virtues such as the scenery of its river and the cleanliness of its air.

Port St Lucie MudJam
Looking into its annual events, its seemed the biggest thing I could find in Port St. Lucie is the Saint Lucie MudJam. Its a weekend of mud, monster trucks, bikini's and beer. Over a 500 acre mud bog, four wheelers run and race all weekend long with concerts into the night. Looks like a pretty wild time of classic redneck fun if you are into that kind of thing.

Playlist Additions

Baseball at Tradition Field is how the New York Mets and many other vacationing New Yorkers spend the Spring in Port St. Lucie. Our playlist additions begin with a themed medley of Spring songs.
  • Spring Song Tabby 'n Things: The World's Greatest Mediocrity Tabby Andriello 3:22 LINK
  • Spring Is Here Standard Coltrane John Coltrane 6:57
  • Spring Is Here Indian Summer Dave Brubeck 3:58
  • Spring Welcome to the Club: The Essential Chess Recordings   Little Milton 3:56

Out of respect for the havoc Mother Nature has delivered to Port St. Lucie, we have several Hurricane songs in another themed medley.
  • Hurricane  Levon Helm   4:04
  • Hurricane  Bacon Fat 5:00
  • Hurricane Dub Ska Town    The Mad Lighters 3:22
  • Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season A1A  Jimmy Buffett 4:23

We continue with themed medleys dedicated to trucks, and beer in celebration of the MudJam.
  • I Am A Truck Musical Adventure In Make-Believe Casper The Friendly Ghost 3:19
  • Laugh Truck The Misled Children Meet Odean Pope The Misled Children 4:05
  • Monster Truck Free Rock: Music From Capitol Records Plastilina Mosh 4:19
  • Work Or Beer Satyricon... The Album Crazy 8s 3:12
  • Beer Reel Big Fish 3:32
  • Titties And Beer Baby Snakes      Frank Zappa 6:14
  • Beer             Spanker Madness Asylum Street Spankers 3:25

The MudJam seems to be as much about bikinis as it is about truck so our playlist additions close this week with a set of varied interpretations of the novelty classic Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.
  • Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini \Brian Hyland 2:22
  • Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Bobby Vinton 2:24
  • Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Sing American Hits In Italian     The Gaylords 2:20
  • Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Pioneers Who Got Scalped: The Anthology Devo 2:11

Signing Off And Coming Attractions

I hope you have been enjoying these visits to the Spring Training ballparks of Florida. I will admit, it has been a bit of a challenging subject as I am really only the most casual of baseball fans.  As we head North we will start to come upon some music stories, rest assured. In the meantime, have YOU ever gone to a Spring Training game? If so, where was it and was it a good experience? Let us know about it in the comments. Its makes the world a better place when people leave comments.

Next Week: Chicago, Illinois the start of Route 66 and the also the home of the Blues Brothers.
Two Weeks: More Old Town in San DiegoCalifornia where we are following the route of old Highway 101.
Three Weeks: Back to Florida and Interstate 95 we move North from Port St. Lucie and head to a historical site on the Spring Training trail.

Mileage Stats

Route 66: 0 Miles/1 State/985 Tracks/262 Videos/39 Posts

Highway 101: 22 Miles/2 Countries/1 State/594 Tracks/301 Videos/28 Posts

Interstate 95: 123 Miles/1 State/87 Tracks/139 Videos/14 Posts

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