Originally hailing from the baseball-crazed city of St. Louis, Joe Putting grew up on Cardinals baseball. With a dream of becoming a major league baseball star, Putting ate, slept and breathed baseball from the moment he could walk. Although he never made it onto a major league roster, his love of the game has never left. And when it comes to the ins and outs of one of baseball's most unique happenings: Spring Training - he's a true all-star.
Father & Daughter Fans
Putting's love of baseball has rubbed off on his daughter, Leah. For more than a decade, together they trek from their home in Northeast Florida to Roger Dean Stadium. Taking in at least one game a season, it's an annual pilgrimage this father and daughter are sure never to miss. Even while away at college, Leah would find her way to The Palm Beaches for their Spring Training excursion.
Ball Park & Box Scores
This year is no different for our self-proclaimed Cardinal Spring Training experts. But the two have some "insider tips" on making the most of your Spring Training visit to The Palm Beaches. And keep in mind, Roger Dean Stadium is also the Spring Training home to the newly renamed, Miami Marlins. This year, the Marlins and Cardinals exciting training season starts March 5 and runs through April 1.
- "Arrive early. We try to get there during batting practice. You'd be surprised how much time the players and coaches will spend talking with you and signing autographs. I even had one give me a bat once. And don't forget a Sharpie!" - Leah
- "The concession stands at Roger Dean Stadium are located on the 1st and 3rd base sides so sit accordingly. I'm a bit of a ballpark gourmet and I can tell you the food is great - from the nachos served in a plastic baseball cap, to the foot-long chicken on a stick I had last year. Leah made fun of me the whole time, but it was superb!" - Joe
- "Head's up! Fredbird - the official mascot for the Cardinals - loves to see how many heads he can 'beak' during a single game. I suggest wearing a hat, not just for protection from the sun; that beak is pointy." - Leah
- "I am a big-time history buff. The Battle of Loxahatchee, which took place during the Second Seminole War, happened just a few miles down the road at Riverbend Park. You can hike, bike, canoe or kayak throughout the war site." - Joe
- "We live along the Atlantic in Ormond Beach but we still make time to visit the beach in Jupiter before or after games. Their beach is made up of this cool Anastasia limestone. It's not like any other beach I've seen in Florida." - Leah
So why not come to the ballpark at Roger Dean Stadium as see the "Boys of Summer" practice their moves. Maybe you'll get to meet Leah and Joe. Look for them behind the dugout between first base and home plate.