When City Commissioner Chad McLeod threw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day of Spring Training at Joker Marchant Stadium, it signaled the official start of the 58th consecutive Detroit Tigers spring training festivities in Lakeland.
There are 162 regular season games to look forward to, nine innings of beer, brats and fanfare at each Spring Training contest and at least four reasons that you don’t want to miss Detroit Tigers Spring Training action in 2023.
- So Long, Farewell Miguel
Heading into his 16th season with the Tigers and 21st season overall, he has more than 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, 1,800 RBI and 600 doubles during his illustrious career. With those numbers, he’s in a league alongside some of the game’s best ever to play, including Hank Aaron and Albert Pujols. Despite his decline in production, he is one of the most jovial, fun-loving players to ever lace up cleats, and now is the time to see him up close, in his element mentoring youngsters and still swinging for the fences.
- All the Right Teams on Tap
If you walk around Lakeland wondering just how many locals are truly New Yorkers—don’t let the iconic navy blue, grey and white NY hats fool you. It’s just reality that the pinstripes represent winning, and a franchise with 27 World Series championships has won over generations of fans. Lucky for locals, the Yanks are coming to Joker Marchant twice this preseason, today and March 17. In addition, the Tigers are hosting the Boston Red Sox on March 14, the Atlanta Braves on March 22 and the “real” home team, the Tampa Rays, on March 26.
- Eat, Drink, Repeat
Want to chow your way through the innings? There’s an all-you-can-eat picnic option, including one at the Pepsi Pavillion. Ready for refreshing drinks with a VIP view? Check out Margaritaville Rum & Tequilla down the right field line. Simply put, the beer is cold, the grills are hot and you should grab a napkin for the mustard on your chin.
- Every Game Counts
Fans often correlate the pre-season with being pre-meaningful, but try telling that to youngsters trying to make the Opening Day roster for the first time or to a veteran who is trying to hold off a prospect to keep his job. Check out this in-depth look at position battles for the Tigers from The Athletic.