Stadiafile just received a major haul of postal wonders, including this very informative card showing the Florida Spring Training sites of the 16 Major League Baseball teams who participated in the Grapefruit League c. 1988.
The card dates from sometime after the Mets started playing in Port St. Lucie in 1988 and before the Boston Red Sox moved to Fort Myers in 1992. Since then, the lure of the Cactus League has pulled the Dodgers and Reds to dryer pastures in Arizona and now only the the Tigers, Mets, Astros, Blue Jays, Phillies and the Pirates remain in their respective locales as depicted below. The Red Sox and Twins now train in Ft. Myers on the Gulf side and the Nationals and Marlins have entered the league and train in Viera and Jupiter respectively.
There are many things to love about this card: the simplicity with which the information is communicated, the cartographic clarity of reducing the state of Florida to a large, green landmass with a mysterious, gold “glow”, whose main roadways access exclusively the spring training locales. The lack of team logos and title ‘FLORIDA BASEBALL’ give a nice, generic feel, while the baseball ‘O’ and the old-timer swinging the bat add to the its timelessness.
In an age when information, especially sport-related, is often instantly delivered via multi-layered, dynamic, over-saturated displays – be they on mobile devices or in-stadium display – postcards slow this all down. Their diminutive size, limited graphic capabilities and reliance on the postal system make these cards a wonderful counterpoint to our current sport world. Enjoy.
Click on the images and you’ll be able to see them in all their glory.