OBJ Spring Training, A Player’s Perspective

An article by LHP Lucas DiRienzo.

Unfortunately, I myself was not able to go to Vero Beach and it was harder than I thought it was going to be.  Sitting in the cold in Mississauga while all my friends get to play the greatest game in the world down in Florida.  Everything from playing baseball, to just hanging out with teammates in the cafeteria, by the pool or at the villas – OBJ Spring Training is definitely a life changing experience that I can’t wait to be apart of next year.

Spring Training is something we all look forward to the second the Fall Schedule ends.  The grind from November to March keep us all waiting, hungry to be able to play outside again.  We all train patiently until that beautiful Friday morning, when we get to leave for Vero Beach, Florida.  We board the bus to head out of Mississauga on our 25 hour drive filled with watching movies, listening to music and building friendships with teammates.

The first thing we do when we get there is hit the field to practice.  The feeling of the warm Florida air gives you that extra push to give practice everything you have got to be ready for the week ahead.  After practice we get to our rooms at the Dodgertown Complex, pick up our meal tickets for dinner and the week truly begins.

Every morning start off in the cafe, where each player gets tickets with specific colours specifying Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.  You get to sit and talk with your friends, teammates or maybe even other baseball players from opposing teams.

After all teams begin play on the Sunday morning, everyones focus shift to Monday and OBJ Pro Day.  At Pro Day, players are invited to showcase their tools for collegiate and professional scouts who come from all over the United States looking for their next big signee. The day caps off with some evening baseball and another cafeteria meal.

As the week progresses, we look forward to our single day off, where we enjoy a little “vacation mode” which is typically found on Wednesday, the perfect midway point, we can choose from relaxing at the complex to travelling to Miami for the afternoon.  All while knowing games re-start the very next morning.  The final couple days are filled with more good time and baseball before we all play our last game Saturday morning before the long bus ride back home.

This year was a very successful year in Dodgertown for our OBJ teams, with an organization wide record of 30 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie including OBJ Travers who finished a perfect, 11-0!

One of the best parts about Historic Dodgertown is the competition, our 18 & Under team was able to play against Eastern Florida State College, Florida Southern College and IMG Academy as well as an Independent Professional Team.  Our 17 & Under team also competed against a couple college teams. The high intensity and competitive games help better us as teams and individuals, a great way to prepare us for our lengthy season ahead!