Busy Sports Day in Jacksonville

Baseball Grounds crowd
The Baseball Grounds will be one of three venues in the sports complex with events going on at the same time Saturday night.

by Cole Pepper
August 2, 2013

Going downtown for the game? That question will need to be clarified. Tomorrow, all three downtown sports complex facilities (EverBank Field, The Baseball Grounds and the Veterans Memorial Arena) will host events that will begin within 45 minutes of one another.

Let’s start first with the Jaguars, who hold their annual scrimmage inside EverBank Field. Gus Bradley told me this week that he would treat the scrimmage “similar to a practice, then at the end, it could be somewhat of a ‘move the ball’.”

That means that its not going to be an all out scrimmage, which has been the trend the past several years with Mike Mularkey and Jack Del Rio running things.

The scrimmage starts at 6:45pm.Busy Saturday

Fifteen minutes later, the Sharks will kickoff their first round playoff game against the Tampa Bay Storm at the Arena. Jacksonville beat the Storm twice this year, including last week, when the Storm just about decapitated Sharks quarterback Bernard Morris. The Sharks hold the top seed in the American Conference playoffs and need to win their next two games to earn a trip to the Arena Bowl in Orlando later this month.

Then, at 7:05, the Jacksonville Suns host the Tennessee Smokies at the Baseball Grounds.

Parking spaces will be at a premium even if the price is not. Parking will be $5 and all lots (except Z) will be open to first come first parked.

Kids Can Learn From Former Major Leaguers

Bragan Field

by Cole Pepper

Jacksonville is hosting the Southern League All-Star Game on July 17 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville (Bragan Field). Among the festivities planned for that week, a youth baseball clinic (for kids 6-16) with former major leaguers, including Episcopal head coach Mike Jones (Royals) and Rick Wilkins (11 years, 8 teams).

The clinic will take place at the Baseball Grounds Monday, July 15, 2013, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. It’s part of the “Legends for Youth” program.  Legends for Youth is a charitable program running more than 85 free events each year nationwide. Its mission is to promote the game of baseball to America’s youth using positive sports images and personalities. Southern League All Star logo

Registration for the clinic is free, but there are a limited number of spaces. As of Wednesday afternoon, around 100 spots remained.  Registration is available online here: https://secure.mlb.com/mlbpaa/events/legends_form.jsp

The hope is to partner with the MLB Alumni in the future and bring more and larger events with big name stars to Jacksonville. There are a number of former big league players living in northeast Florida, and if the city make it a priority, there could be more events featuring former big leaguers to come.