Historic Sanford Memorial Stadium
1201 Mellonville Ave., Sanford
Next to the Atlanta Braves spring training season at Disney, the Florida League attracts perhaps the highest number of Central Florida baseball fans. Technically the players in this wood-bat league are all college students, but being handpicked to play in a summer league like this one is serious business – especially when it comes to Major League Baseball hopes. Six teams – College Park Freedom, DeLand Suns, Leesburg Lightning, Orlando Monarchs, Sanford River Rats and Winter Park Diamond Dawgs – take to local fields all around Central Florida starting this week for a summer-long season (each team plays 45 games; visit the league website for the full schedule). We must admit that tonight’s season opener in Sanford offers (arguably) the best game-watching spot in the area, as the historic stadium lies less than a mile south of the lively bar-and-restaurant strip of downtown Sanford. Grab dinner and drinks beforehand (we suggest Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café, the Imperial or Little Fish Huge Pond) and then, if you wish, walk to the ol’ ballgame. – Aimee Vitek
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