Welcome to Clearwater’s BayCare Ballpark, the place the solar shines all yr lengthy and future Phillies get their begin. Start your day by taking a stroll down America’s finest seashore and finish it on the Spring Coaching residence of baseball’s oldest steady one-name, one metropolis franchise.
Clearwater Threshers (Single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies since 1985)
ballpark: BayCare Ballpark (opened 2004)
League: Florida State League
Championships: 1993, 2007
Notable Alumni: Jim Thome, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Chase Utley
The Clearwater Threshers are situated in Clearwater, Fla., on the east coast of the Sunshine State. The membership has been a Phillies affiliate since its inception, first donating the identify of its mother or father membership earlier than altering to the Threshers as a part of a rebrand when the staff modified stadiums in 2004. The membership performed in Jack Russell Memorial Stadium from 1985-2003, and their present stadium went via three totally different names earlier than adopting its present moniker in 2021 — Vivid Home Networks Area, Vivid Home Area and Spectrum Area.
The Phillies have known as Clearwater their Spring Coaching residence since 1947, however the Threshers did not come to be till 1985. The membership’s Single-A associates have gone via a number of totally different identify and placement adjustments, however proper earlier than they grew to become the Threshers, they had been the Peninsula Pilots in Hampton, Va., a membership that ultimately developed into the Nationals’ present Excessive-A affiliate, the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
Like many Minor League groups, the Threshers typically undertake an alternate id. On the final Friday residence recreation of the month, the membership turns into the Seashore Canines, in tribute to calling top-of-the-line seashores within the nation their residence. You possibly can even carry your canine to the park on choose days, with canine ticket proceeds benefitting native pet charities.
Ballpark location (through Google Maps)
601 N, 601 Outdated Coachman Street
Clearwater, FL 33765
Dimensions: left discipline, 329 ft; middle discipline, 408 ft; proper discipline, 330 ft
Extra Ball Park Guides >>
Along with internet hosting the Phillies’ Spring Coaching advanced, this metropolis is residence to top-of-the-line seashores in America — the truth is, Clearwater Seashore was named one of the best seashore within the US by TripAdvisor in 2019, in no small half due to its white sand, breathtaking sunsets and year-round leisure.
Clearwater is without doubt one of the three cities that make up the Tampa Bay Space, the place baseball is loads. BayCare Ballpark pushes up in opposition to Route 19, which travels north-south earlier than merging into I-275 the place the Sunshine Skyway Bridge begins. The park sits on the east facet of Clearwater, about two miles from Outdated Tampa Bay, whereas the famed seashore and the Atlantic Ocean are to the west.
In entrance of the west entrance is a statue of Steve Carlton titled The Ace, which depicts the Corridor of Famer in his windup atop a fountain. The park additionally celebrates the Spanish-style structure of the area, with massive constructions that includes barrel-shaped tile roofs, thick stucco and dramatic arches with minimalist touches.
Followers who proceed via the west entrance will stroll up a flight of stairs and enter the third-base concourse. Persevering with left would first carry you to the Tiki Pavilion, a bar that includes quite a lot of drinks and first-come first-serve seating. Subsequent to the pavilion is the bullpen space, then the berm in each left- and right-center discipline. Followers who take a proper after getting into via the west gate will proceed onto the remainder of the concourse, which ultimately ends in proper discipline.
The park affords customary field-level seating in addition to quite a lot of different choices. There are three picnic terraces in left discipline in addition to luxurious suites and membership seating on the second degree behind residence plate.
What would a Phillies affiliate be with no good place to seize a cheesesteak? Even 1,000 miles away from the town of concord, followers can deal with themselves to a Philly staple on the Homerun Grille behind residence plate. You can even buy customary ballpark fare right here. On the first-base concourse, you may go to the Strikeout Cafe for decent canines and sandwiches. Additionally on the first-base facet is Westshore Pizza, which additionally affords a meatball sub. Over on the third-base concourse, you may seize boneless wings at Abe’s Place Faucet & Grill, sliders at Pete & Shorty’s and ice cream on the Pineapple Shack Island Creamery.
Consistent with the Phillies’ model, the Threshers’ mascot is a shark named Phinley. He sports activities both an orange Hawaiian shirt with white flowers or a blue shirt with the Threshers cap insignia and pairs it with some board shorts. The cuffs on each clothes are lower as much as appear to be shark bites. Phinley at all times has the largest smile on the ballpark — would not you in the event you lived on the seashore?
Clearly, Clearwater Seashore takes the cake right here. Pier 60, named for State Route 60 that ends the place the seashore begins, boasts a fishing pier, playground, outlets and eating places which are open yr spherical and deep into the night time. The Seashore Stroll affords bike racks, water fountains and a basic secure place for households, whereas additionally providing loads of fishing spots.
If you wish to be away from the water, the revamped Cleveland Avenue district affords 3.5 miles of eating places, bars and boutiques as a part of a bustling downtown scene. You possibly can catch a comedy present or a play on the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, or pedal throughout the causeway on the Memorial Causeway Bike Path.
Meals and Drink
Whether or not you wish to keep on the town or head over to the seashore, there are many choices round. Eight minutes northeast in Security Harbor is Crooked Thumb Brewery, which affords a family-friendly indoor/out of doors house in addition to two lovely cats that patrol the premises. Throughout the road from the park is Lenny’s Diner, providing conventional breakfast fare in the event you’re catching a day recreation. Heading over to Clearwater Seashore, there are a plethora of grills, cafes and bars alongside Pier 60.
For those who’re wanting to avoid wasting cash and be nearer to the park, south of the advanced are a number of chain lodges, in addition to motels alongside Route 60. For those who’re after a seashore view, there are many waterfront choices about quarter-hour west at Clearwater Seashore, starting from $100-$300 per night time.
There’s actually no scarcity of baseball to take pleasure in in Florida. Simply 10 minutes north is Dunedin, the place the Blue Jays’ Single-A affiliate performs. Drive 25 minutes east throughout the causeway and you will attain the Yankees’ Single-A affiliate in Tampa. Lakeland, residence of the Tigers’ Single-A affiliate, is about an hour’s drive east, whereas Pittsburgh’s Single-A affiliate performs about 45 minutes south in Bradenton. In complete, there are 12 MiLB groups in Florida to take a look at, starting from Pensacola within the panhandle right down to Fort Myers on the state’s west coast.
The Street to Philadelphia
Whereas the Threshers get to take pleasure in taking part in on the Phillies’ Spring Coaching advanced all yr, they’re a methods away from Philadelphia’s three different associates which are all situated inside 75 miles of Residents Financial institution Park — the Excessive-A BlueClaws in Lakewood, NJ, the Double-A Fightin Phils in Studying, Pa., and the Triple-A IronPigs in Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Single-A: Clearwater Threshers
Excessive-A: Shore BlueClaws Sweater
Double-A: Studying Combating Phils
Triple A: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs