Yankees’ Former Spring Home Once ‘Perfect Facility’

From Jeff Pearlman at The Wall Street Journal on March 14:

As baseball fans flock to Arizona and Florida to engulf the last crumbs of innocence from an increasingly corporate spring-training landscape (“T-shirts! Get yer $30 T-shirts here!”), Fort Lauderdale Stadium remains empty and alone. Though the Orioles spent 14 years here, bringing Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray and some excruciatingly bad ballclubs to South Florida, the Stadium will always best be remembered as the spot where, from 1962 to 1995, the New York Yankees spent their Februarys and Marches.

Back in those days, it was a romantic place; a splendid oasis known not by its proper name, but as, poetically, Little Yankee Stadium. The facility was built specifically for the team, which departed its longtime St. Petersburg home because, in part, its headquarters, the Soreno Hotel, refused to offer lodging to black players such as Elston Howard and Al Downing.

Read the full article here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703300904576178493057839626.html

Originally published: March 14, 2011. Last Updated: March 14, 2011.