FORT MYERS, Fla. — JetBlue Park was the host of a special open house Saturday.
It comes at a time when the start of spring training has been delayed due to a lockout. The event served as a chance for fans and families to get a taste of the ballpark.
"We’re baseball fans. We’re fans, we’re here for the Red Sox. This is what it’s all about.”
The smell of hot dogs, the sun shining... at Jetblue Park it was a sea of red. All that was missing was the crack of the occasional bat.
"Really just a bunch of our friends were Red Sox fans, whether they lived in Boston or not I don’t know we kind of joined," said Jeanne Kreavy and Ron Kreavy, visiting from Buffalo, NY. "It’s like the Bills Mafia but with the Red Sox. Same thing. We’ve got a lot of following up there and one of our friends is this guy named Jeff, he got everyone involved in it. We’re all crazy with the fans, we follow the team and here we are. Where are they? We want them here!”
That’s been a common sentiment felt by Major League Baseball fans everywhere, as the league and its players remain in a lockout. But that didn’t stop those from getting down to the ballpark for an open house.
"It’s in my blood. I love the Red Sox and so does my son.”
Gary Grosjean is visiting with his family from Buffalo, New York. All of them are Red Sox fans. But how do a group of New Yorkers wind up cheering on the Bo-Sox?
"My son got me into being a Red Sox fan because he basically had more interest in baseball than I did when he was younger," explained Grosjean. "Then he started playing baseball when he was younger and then it evolved into watching the big leagues.”
But baseball or not, there was still fun to be had.
"Being all together as one to enjoy each others company, you know what I mean?" he says. "Timing is precious so you’ve got to make the most of it while you can.”
As of now, spring training has been postponed until at least March 5. As team owners and players try to work out a deal, all fans can do is wait on the edge of their seats.
"It can’t come soon enough," said Grosjean. "Just the experience of being there, being at the games and going there and it’s priceless.”
"Get together on this contract because look at the people that are here," said Kreavy. "The economy in Fort Myers, too. They thrive on these baseball fans and how many people come here on vacation just to see the baseball? They can’t get it up north! They want to throw a ball and we want to watch them hit it."