Back to the Florida State League (Advanced Single A) for a contest between the hometown Florida Fire Frogs (Atlanta Braves affiliate) and the Tampa Tarpons (NY Yankees affiliate) in Kissimmee at Osceola County Stadium, the former spring training park of the Houston Astros, and the smallest park in the FSL.
The Fire Frogs apparently decided to use Florida as their geographic designation rather than Kissimmee in hopes of attracting a wider following in the greater Orlando area. I think Kissimmee sounds cooler than Florida though.
The frog part came from a local denizen called the coqui, an amphibian that originated in Puerto Rico. There are allegedly many people of Puerto Rican descent in the Orlando area. They (the frogs) are not red, however, or even orange. I’m not sure about the people.
So it seems that the fire part was just made up – helped with the alliteration.
There were rain showers, sometimes heavy through the afternoon and even the occasional dark cloud during the game, but never a need to take cover.
Anyway, the Frogs, with their colorful and unexplained (at least that I heard) jerseys played a fast clean game that lasted just over two hours and won it with their three run rally in the third. It was another shut out, which is a bit surprising at this level.
The bull pens at the field were in foul territory, just beyond first and third. There aren’t many fields like that and when a reliever is warming up, there has to be a lookout with a glove facing the infield to protect him and especially the catcher.
I like this picture of the guys draped on the dugout fence. There’s a lot of waiting in baseball.
The eats were standard, though my smoked sausage was pretty good. Regrettably, there was no sauerkraut to go with it.