Joker Marchant Stadium
As this record cold winter rages on along the Eastern Seaboard and the Midwest,
baseball fans can only dream about the warmth of the Florida sunshine come Spring Training. Right now peanuts and cracker
jacks seem like a million light years away from those facing arctic temperatures, but now is the perfect time to move from
daydreaming about getting your tickets to see your favorite Major League Baseball to picking a date and buying your tickets
because pitchers and catchers will report before you know it.
Detroit has been feeling the freeze as much as anyone
and Tigers fans are definitely looking forward to another incredible year of Detroit Tigers baseball. The team has been extremely
successful over the last few years with MVP and Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera leading the way to making the Tigers one
of the most exciting and successful teams in baseball. Change is upon them, though, with their longtime manager, Jim Leyland,
retired at the end of the 2013 season and the Tigers now turn the team over to well respected former player Brad Ausmus. Other
changes include the trade with the Texas Rangers that send first basebam Prince Fielder to Texas in exchange for Rangers second
baseman Ian Kinsler. Tigers fans will get their first look at the new Detroit Tigers when Spring Break opens at Joker Marchant
Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. Joker Marchant Stadium, which opened to the public in 1966, is the second oldest stadium in
the Grapefruit League. The Grapefruit League has been in operation since the 1890's and the Detroit Tigers currently have
the longest relationship with one Spring Training city in existence. The Tigers have been in Lakeland, Florida since 1934
and are happy to incorporate the area's history as a World War II pilot training base into their complex. Two hangars still
remain and are in use by the Detroit Tigers, making the organization and this central Florida city bonded together. A multimillion
renovation in 2003 has changed the look and feel of Joker Marchant Stadium, and is part of a push of many organizations to
make their Spring Training home look closer to their home stadiums to delight the fans and draw a connection between Spring
Training and the regular season.
It hasn't always been fun time for Detroit Tigers fans,
but the last decade has been a very prosperous time for this storied franchise. As the oldest franchise with the same name
and residing in the same city in the American League, the rise of the Tigers to prominence has been great for the sport of
baseball and especially this passionate and loyal fanbase. Since 1934, fans have been able to head to Lakeland, Florida to
feel the warmth of springtime and cheer of their beloved Tigers. Today, Joke Marchant Stadium is still the beloved Spring
home of the Tigers and hosts games between the team and their Grapefruit League foes like the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees,
Chicago White Sox and the Atlanta Braves. Over 10,000 fans packed Joker Marchant Stadium in 2011 to watch the Tigers take
on long time foes the Boston Red Sox, which is the largest crown ever to see a Tigers Spring Training game in the stadium's
Besides the Detroit Tigers, Joker Marchant Stadium is also the home of two Tigers' affiliates, the Lakeland
Flying Tigers and the Gulf Coast Tigers. The Lakeland Flying Tigers are members of the Florida State League and the Single
A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Well known baseball players like Curtis Granderson and Cody Ross for their start as a Flying
Tigers, and fans should check out the stars of tomorrow at a Lakeland Flying Tigers game at Joker Marchant Stadium. The Gulf
Coast Tigers are the Rookie Level team in the Detroit Tigers organization, providing the first stop for Major League hopefuls.
These players are just learning the ropes and Lakeland is a great city and environment for these young men lookign to advance
Lakeland, a lake filled city in central Florida, might be relatively
unknown to those who live outside the Sunshine State, but there are many things in Lakeland that have had quite an effect
on popular cultural and American military history. Lakeland was the home of Lodick Airfield, a pivotal training site during
World War II for bombers, airmen, and pilots of transport planes. A few of the hangars still remain and are currently a part
of Tigertown, the Spring Training complex of the Detroit Tigers. Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright made Lakeland, Florida
home for a spell in the late 1930's when he come to Florida Southern College to create a number of buildings. The famous project
is entitled "A Child of the Sun" ans remains the largest collection of the legend's work in one place.
With a capacity of 9,000 fans, Joker Marchant Stadium is one of the most popular venues in the Grapefruit League.
The stadium had an amazing reputation for great food and drink at the ballpark, it is also home to some spectacular views
of the surrounding lakes. Over the years Joker Marchant Stadium has undergone a few notable renovations, including the addition
of many bleacher seats for the fans down the left field line. The addition of incredible box seats behind home plate have
also been a fan favorite as well as more standing room for fans. You cannot go wrong with wherever you sir when you take in
a game at Joker Marchant Stadium.
Joker Marchant Stadium Trivia
Who was the stadium named after?
"Joker" Marchant was a beloved Parks and Recreation director in Lakeland who was instrumental in making the dream of Tigertown