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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

It's a hit! Spring training scores with residents

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Until the season officially begins, Southeast Missouri baseball fans are focusing on spring training. From right: Janie Young, Shirley Vowels, Mable Tenkhof, Marilyn Brown, Bethany Brown and Bill Wainwright, father of Cardinals' pitcher Adam Wainwright, at a 2010 spring training game at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla. Submitted photo
SIKESTON -- With Albert Pujols' contract negotiations (or lack thereof) shelved until the end of the 2011 baseball season, St. Louis Cardinals fans are forced to shift their focus to spring training.

For some local baseball fans, that's not a problem, especially for those who've experienced spring training.

Lifelong Cardinals fan Mike Marsh of Sikeston said it took him 50 years to attend his first spring training.

"It was almost surreal -- a dream come true," Marsh recalled.

Marsh and his family traveled to Vero Beach, Fla., in March 2005, which was also Sikeston native Blake DeWitt's first year of spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgertown.

"We went down to see Blake, and the Cardinals trained only about 30 miles away (at Roger Dean Stadium) in Jupiter, Fla., so we made a vacation out of it," Marsh recalled.

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