Spring training a mixture of history, escape and baseball


It was 30 minutes before the gates
opened.

Anticipation filled the air.

Before the spectators were granted access inside the stadium, they were greeted to a history lesson from Doug, a longtime Tigers volunteer.

He delivered a speech to a crowd of baseball supporters about the importance of Lakeland to the spring-training experience.

“The Tigers first played in Henley Field before playing in Lakeland,” said Doug.

“Initially, Publix Field was an airport that was used to train fighter pilots during World War II. It was Marchant’s idea to bring the Tigers from Henley Field to Lakeland, which now is the home of “Tiger Town.”

History surrounds Publix Field. From
the retired Tigers numbers in right field to Ty Cobb’s statue inside the
concourse, there are constant reminders about the storied past of the
franchise.

Since 1934, the Tigers played spring-training baseball in Lakeland. A city with a population of approximately 108 000, Lakeland welcomes fans across North America every February and March to take in baseball and the warm weather.

Despite it being two weeks until opening day, it did not stop baseball fanatics from attending Publix…

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