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Dual-Use Divas

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Dual-Use Divas: The best dual-use spring training sites

Want to catch as much baseball as possible during your short vacation without having to drive elsewhere, saving money on a rental car and having the teams literally come to your doorstep? Well then, park your caboose near one of these six spring training sites which has baseball every day for they are “Dual-use Divas.” Here are my top six in order:
#1 Rangers-Royals: Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Arizona
Home of the two-time American League Champion Rangers and the upstart Royals, this is a great ballpark no matter who’s playing, with multiple seating options. Even better: tickets are affordable and can often be had on game day, avoiding those hideous surcharges. Concession stands also usually offer up great deals on hot dogs and soda pop, especially for the weekday games early in the season. Plus, you get to see two exciting American League teams – the rising Royals and the two-time American League Champion Rangers.
#2 Cardinals-Marlins: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, Florida
The Sunshine State’s only dual-use facility is one of the best, hosting the 2011 World Series Champion Redbirds and the Miami Marlins. The practice fields adjacent to the ballpark offer ample opportunities to score autographs and even a foul ball or too that flies onto neighboring streets. Keep your head up! Downside? Tickets aren’t cheap and there’s no outfield seating inside the ballpark to catch a home run ball.
#3 Diamondbacks-Rockies: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale, Arizona
The latest dual-use facility to be built opened last year to mostly solid reviews. The ballpark is certainly well-designed, but it’s too big in my opinion which takes away some of the ambience. Still, you got to love the chance to catch two National League division rivals playing in the same ballpark during spring training (the only one of its kind in MLB), plus can’t beat the suntan lotions dispensers strategically placed throughout the concourses. Great idea!
#4 Mariners-Padres, Peoria Stadium, Peoria, Arizona
Look closely enough and you’ll get sense of perspective coming out to Peoria, which was the first dual-use facility built exclusively to house two teams. Unlike others in the desert built following its opening in 1994, concessions stands remain behind the main concourse at the grandstand level. Still, this is one of my favorite places to catch a game. Downside? Tickets here are expensive compared to the rest of the Cactus circuit.
#5 Dodgers-White Sox: Ballpark at Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Arizona
This is one of my least favorite dual-use facilities because it’s so damn big and is a pain in the rump to park your car, with frequently delays getting in. I don’t get the yellow seats either. Where is mustard in the White Sox and Dodgers color schemes? Bring back Dodgertown. On the bright side, getting autographs pre-game near the practice fields is quite easy.
#6 Reds-Indians: Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, Arizona
If you built it, will they come? The Indians and Reds are still trying to figure out the answer. Neither club has drawn terribly well since relocating to the desert a few years ago. Things might be different this year though, especially with the Red Legs high expectations. This is a great ballpark to watch a game, but the biggest downside is securing autographs before the game. It’s one of the most inconvenient and unfriendly of all the spring training sites to watch players practice and to score autographs.

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