LMT Stop #7: Winter Haven, FL

Excellent Adventure Day # 49

Yankees, Red Sox and Palm Trees

Winter Haven Red Sox host the Fort Lauderdale Yankees 5/27/91

29 years ago today happened to be Memorial Day that year and thus, despite the fact that Chain O’ (or of if you prefer) Lake’s Park in Winter Haven wasn’t particularly fancy and there wasn’t a very big crowd, there wasn’t anything that seemed more appropriate on the holiday that kicks off summer than a Yankees vs. Red Sox doubleheader.

Both Winter Haven and Fort Lauderdale finished last in their respective divisions that season but to us it couldn’t have mattered less what their record was. The look of the uniforms was exactly the same as their namesakes and the two teams went on to split the doubleheader.

As I recall, we were staying with Sue’s grandparents over near Tampa and I think we drove over with her grandfather for the game. I can say hand over heart that I met Johnnie Pesky while we were both hanging around the batting cage that day. That’s pretty cool…even 29 years later.

The Trip

The Video

Minor League Baseball parks have certainly become more entertaining over the years. As we’ve seen already this week in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, there’s a lot going on at the ballparks outside the foul lines. But in the old Florida State League baseball was mostly still the thing and the fans that made it out to the yard seemed to like it that way. This video features a 1991 Memorial Day doubleheader between the Winter Haven Red Sox and the Fort Lauderdale Yankees and that was about it…and that was just fine. Watch for the cuzoos though.

Winter Haven, FL 5/27/91

…”Give me Just a Little More Time

There aren’t many things to regret about our magical 1991 season but I do wish we had a chance to see more of each town we visited. Quite often the only glimpse of the surrounding area was from our seats. I hope to go back some day and once tourist sites are safely reopened here are a few sites I’d check out if I had a whole day or better yet a week!

Until We Meet Again

Who knows how long it will be until we can collectively be taken out to the ballgame again but in the meantime here is an important page where you can do some good, find some important content and help us all get to the other side of this difficult season.

In the On Deck Circle: The Lakeland Tigers

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