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As American as baseball and key lime pie! Spring training heats up in Naples, Florida

March temperatures are predicted to be awesome (around 80 degrees) for the 2015 spring training season in Southwest Florida, and Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox players will be bringing the heat in the sweet sunshine of the Paradise Coast. This is your ticket to check out the prospects for the coming year.

Last year, more than 255,000 fans came down to watch the exhibition games of these two major league baseball teams – AND to get a jumpstart on their tan, maybe catch a fish, maybe get in a few rounds of golf.

This is the southernmost reach of the Grapefruit League. Vanderbilt Beach and Naples Park are just a quick 25-mile jaunt down I-75 from JetBlue Park at Fenway South and CenturyLink Sports Complex (home to Hammond Stadium), and Naples Florida Vacation Homes has some vacancies still available for the traveling fan.

The JetBlue Park was designed with the fan in mind. The ballpark includes its version of the Green Monster as well as a manual scoreboard, but this new, state-of-the-art complex (opened in 2012) is pure Florida with lush, indigenous vegetation.

For diehards, make reservations for The Evening with the Red Sox, which benefits Boys & Girls Club of Lee County. Boston Red Sox Corporate Executive Chef Ron Abell will prepare a fantastic menu for the benefit. Have a beer or a cocktail with ball players. Get them to sign an autograph and take a photo or two. Tickets are $200, but it’s a great time for a great cause.

2015 is of particular significance to the Twins. This will be the team’s 25th spring training season. Also state of the art, the recently-dubbed CenturyLink Sports Complex features the Hammond Stadium as well as five additional playing fields. A series of renovations costing $48.5 million was completed on the complex just in time to PLAY BALL!

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