A Day in Dunedin

ValleyCats Media Relations Manager Chris Chenes has arrived in Florida for his yearly spring training trip, and his first stop was the Toronto Blue Jays minor league complex in Dunedin, Florida. ‘Cats former manager Stubby Clapp is now in the Toronto system and will be the hitting coach for long season Class A, Dunedin Blue Jays. Chris recaps the day below:

Spring officially arrived on Wednesday, but the weather sure didn’t portray that. The Capital Region got hit with a “winter” storm, and depending upon where you live, some received over a foot of snow. “The Joe” was covered with about six inches:

Joe Snow

You could imagine how relieved I was to touch down in Orlando on Thursday morning. Green grass, blue sky, warm weather and spring training baseball! Arriving early made it possible for me to drive about two hours west to Dunedin. The main reason for the visit was to speak with Stubby Clapp. He led the ‘Cats to a franchise record 51 wins last season, but unfortunately fell just one game short of a championship.

Luckily for me, Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar and his father Sandy were both in attendance. They serve as special assistants for the Blue Jays.

Robbie & Sandy Alomar posing for a photo with a fan.

Robbie & Sandy Alomar posing for a photo with a fan.

The Blue Jays minor leaguers have their daily workouts and scrimmage games at Englebert Complex. This is also where the Gulf Coast Blue Jays play their home games. It is located just about 10 minutes away from Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, where the major league club holds their spring games and also where the Dunedin Blue Jays call home.

On this day, the Jays were hosting the Pirates minor leaguers. It’s very hard to see, but Stubby is in the first base coaching box below.

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A few more photos:

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Convenient location for Blue Jays staff and media to check out each game going on at the complex.

Convenient location for Blue Jays staff and media to check out each game going on at the complex.

A decent sized crowd wandered the complex.

A decent sized crowd wandered the complex.

Players charting the pitches.

Players charting the pitches.

Robbie Alomar showing a baseball that had been ripped apart during the game.

Robbie Alomar showing a baseball that had been ripped apart during the game.

I was able to speak with Stubby for about 20 minutes and will post the interview when I return to the Capital Region next week. I can tell you one thing, he enjoyed his time in Tri-City and appreciated all the fan support.

I’ll be in Kissimmee for the rest of my trip, speaking with a bunch of former ‘Cats at the Astros spring training complex. Stay tuned to Twitter for daily updates including photos, and I will also be posting another recap on Friday night. Meanwhile, try to stay warm!

-CC

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