The Twins return for their 17th year of Spring Training in Fort Myers, Fla., with a feeling of optimism and a goal of defending their AL Central crown.
As Twins fans prepare for their journey to the land of the palm trees, here are some questions and answers that should help make the trip a good one:
When do the Twins arrive at camp?
The pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on Feb. 18, with the position players following on Feb. 23. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 24.
When do games start?
The Twins begin their Grapefruit League schedule on Feb. 28 by visiting their neighbors in Fort Myers, the Boston Red Sox, at 6:05 p.m. CT. The Twins open their Grapefruit League home slate March 2, when they host the Reds at 6:05 p.m. CT.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets for all Twins Spring Training games at Hammond Stadium are on sale now and can be purchased at the Hammond Stadium box office, by calling 612-333-TWINS or online at www.twinsbaseball.com. They're also available at Twins Pro Shops in Apple Valley, Minnetonka, and Roseville.
Hammond Stadium holds 7,500 fans, and there are plenty of good seats to be had. Three different types of seating are available: box seats, reserved and general admission, which are bleacher seats. If sun isn't your thing, then reserved seats under the roof are the way to go. To get those seats, you must ask about them when you call.
Ticket prices and other information can be found here, at the Twins' Spring Training Tickets page.
Where is Fort Myers, and how do I get there?
Fort Myers is pretty accessible to those wishing to take a break from Minnesota's wintery weather and enjoy the sun and fun of springtime baseball.
It's about a three-and-a-half-hour flight to Fort Myers from Minneapolis, but with the Southwest Florida International airport located on the south side of the city, it makes for an easy commute. Hammond Stadium is only a 10-minute drive from the airport.
The ballpark is located at the Lee County Sports Complex at 14400 Six-Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers. The Twins' practice facilities are also located on the complex grounds. To get there by car, take exit 131 off of I-75, head west on Daniels Parkway and then take a left on Six-Mile Cypress. A paid parking lot is also available at the complex.
How can I watch the team work out?
The Twins practice at the Lee County Sports Complex, and there is no admission charged to see the team work out. The players usually start heading out to the fields around 9:30 a.m. local time, but fans begin arriving at the ballpark before 9. Some players will only be around in the morning while others stay late into the afternoon. To get the best view, many fans gather behind the batting cages.
Once the Twins begin their Grapefruit League games, the Major League team will only hold a practice session prior to game time.
Where can I get some autographs?
Once the games start, the best place to get autographs from Twins players is down the third-base line all the way up to the on-deck circle.
If you are there when the team is only working out, the best place to grab players is by standing around the fields and behind the batting cages. Sometimes fans can catch the players on their walk between the clubhouse and the fields.
What else is there to do in Fort Myers?
Besides enjoying the sunny atmosphere at the ballpark, there are plenty of things to do around the Fort Myers area. If beaches are another item on the top of your list, then you are in the right place. Fort Myers Beach is about a 20-minute drive from the ballpark, and the beaches of Sanibel Island and Captiva are a little over a half-hour's drive. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates are also only a short drive away, along with plenty of shopping and places to eat.
For more information on Fort Myers, visit the city's Web site: www.cityftmyers.com
When do the Twins open the regular season?
The Twins open the 2007 season on April 2, when they host the Orioles at the Metrodome at 7:10 p.m. CT.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.