Spring Training: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Spring Training: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Sat Feb 26 2022 At 3:30 AM

LECOM Park

1611 - 9th St. W.
Bradenton, Florida 34205

LECOM Park
Bradenton, FL, 34205

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LECOM PARK

baseball field located in Bradenton, Florida. It is the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is named after a 15-year naming rights deal wasLECOM Park is a baseball field located in Bradenton, Florida. It is the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is named after a 15-year naming rights deal was signed with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has its main campus in Erie, Pennsylvania, and also a campus in Bradenton. It was formerly known as McKechnie Field, named for Bradenton resident and Baseball Hall of Fame great Bill McKechnie, who led the Pirates in 1925 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1940 to World Series titles. He was also a coach with the Cleveland Indians in 1948. Several members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, such as Bert Blyleven, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Alomar, Wade Boggs, Roy Halladay, Jack Morris, Mariano Rivera, Ivan Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt and Ted Williams, have played at LECOM Park. The stadium also hosts Minor League Baseball games for the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates' Low-A affiliate in Low-A Southeast. LECOM Park's nostalgic charms in its city neighborhood appeal to many baseball traditionalists and ballpark enthusiasts, some of whom consider the facility to be Florida's version of Fenway Park. It is built in a Florida Spanish Mission style, with white stucco on the main grandstand and covered bleachers over the reserved seating section. The Pirates and the City of Bradenton celebrated their 40th anniversary together during the 2008 spring training season, which included an agreement between the city and the Pirates to continue their partnership through 2037. Built in 1923, it is the oldest stadium still used for spring training. As of the 2021 season, it is the second-oldest stadium in Minor League Baseball, behind only Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, which dates to 1914. It is also the third oldest stadium currently used by a major league team after Fenway Park, built in 1912, and Wrigley Field, built in 1914.The stadium hosted an annual charity game between the Pirates and the State College of Florida, Manatee–Sarasota. Several improvements to the field were made possible through the efforts of the Bradenton Boosters, a volunteer club of local residents that not only raises funds for ballpark improvements, but also operate LECOM Park on game day. Since 1979, members of the Boosters have volunteered as the Pirates spring training game-day staff. The booster club's 120 members currently serve as ushers, program sellers, security personnel, merchandise sellers, and press box attendants throughout spring training season.

TAMPA BAY RAYS

The Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a memberThe Tampa Bay Rays are an American professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. Since its inception, the team's home venue has been Tropicana Field. Following nearly three decades of unsuccessfully trying to gain an expansion franchise or enticing existing teams to relocate to the Tampa Bay area, an ownership group led by Vince Naimoli was approved on March 9, 1995. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began play in the 1998 Major League Baseball season. The team's first decade of play was marked by futility; they finished in last place in the AL East in all but the 2004 season, when they finished second to last. Following the 2007 season, Stuart Sternberg, who had purchased controlling interest in the team from Vince Naimoli two years earlier, changed the team's name from "Devil Rays" to "Rays", now meant to primarily refer to a burst of sunshine rather than a manta ray, though a manta ray logo remains on the uniform sleeves. The 2008 season saw the Tampa Bay Rays post their first winning season, their first AL East championship, and their first American League pennant (defeating the rival Boston Red Sox in the ALCS), though they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in that year's World Series. Since then, the Rays have played in the postseason six more times, winning the American League pennant again in 2020 and losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in that year's World Series. The Tampa Bay Rays' chief rivals are the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Regarding the former, there have been several notable on-field incidents. The Rays also have an intrastate interleague rivalry with the National League (NL)'s Miami Marlins (originally the Florida Marlins), whom they play in the Citrus Series. Through 2021, the Rays' all-time record is 1,826–1,958 (.483).

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