The first stop on our Drawn to Central Florida tour, as described by the artist, Josh “Bump” Galletta.
For those of you who don’t already know, Detroit Tigers Spring Training has been a fixture in Lakeland, Florida for nearly 100 years. I’d be remiss not to make Joker Marchant Stadium one of the stops on my #DrawnToCentralFL tour. The stadium is wildly popular and I get why; memories are made at this place!
But what made this game most special to me wasn’t who was playing, it was who was watching.
I’ll start by saying this particular trip to Joker Marchant Stadium to complete this piece wasn’t my first time visiting (we love watching Flying Tigers Baseball here), but it was my first real spring training game. And it wasn’t an ordinary matchup; it was the Detroit Tigers vs New York Yankees! Snowbirds. Rowdy snowbirds everywhere! But what made this game most special to me wasn’t who was playing, it was who was watching. It was my son’s first time attending a professional sporting event. He loved it! He ate it up; the energy, the competition and the ice-cream.
Funny Story: Paws (Detroit Tigers Mascot) and Detroit staff came up to my son and I (we were sitting near an older couple) and asked if we were related because they were looking for three generations of fans. We had to admit we’d never met before. As they left another fan said, “You should have just gone with it!” I had to laugh. Maybe I will next time, haha.
On top of the great time we had, I knew Joker Marchant Stadium was going to immediately undergo renovations at the end of the season. I wanted to capture it the way it was. I hope you like and I hope you’ll attend a game next year!
About Joker Marchant Stadium and Detroit Tigers Spring Training
Lakeland has proudly been the Spring Training home of the Detroit Tigers for 80 years – the longest standing relationship between a major league team and a spring training host city. For more than 50 years, their home games have been played in Joker Marchant Stadium, which is named after former Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department director Marcus “Joker” Marchant.
Immediately following the 2016 season, renovations to this historic stadium began and will include a new tiki bar, scoreboard, additional shaded seating, updated concourse and changes to make the players more at home during pre-season ball.
Check out the rest of Josh “Bump” Galletta’s collection, by clicking below.