As an American passion and pastime, the sport of baseball may have no equal. And for age 55+ fans who can’t get enough of the game, its heroes and romance, the not-for-profit, educational Road Scholar (previously known as Elderhostel) organization offers a baseball lover’s dream: a series of baseball-theme learning programs that take participants behind the scenes during professional-league spring training.
With balmy southern locales and the Grapefruit League spring training games as a backdrop, Road Scholar will host several week-long learning adventures during March 2014. The Boston-based organization teams with a variety of colleges, universities and cultural institutions that will provide educational content — lectures, demonstrations and guided field trips — on a variety of baseball subjects.
The programs investigate everything a student of the game could wish to learn about, from the lives and batting averages of their favorite players, to individual team histories and the evolution of the sport’s rules. For example, one year at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, followers of women’s professional baseball had an opportunity to meet and gain an insider’s perspective from some of the former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, made famous again by the film, “A League of Their Own.” Fans who love baseball in every form can study the game at all levels — from Little League to high school, college and the professional leagues — at a multifaceted program. Road Scholar baseball students meet and talk with professionals who are intimately knowledgeable about the intricacies of the game: college and pro-league coaches, umpires, retired baseball players, and journalists.
And, of course, there are the games. Programs feature excursions to Grapefruit League games and, sometimes, training sessions, team warm-ups and batting practice.
Since the early 1900s, Arizona and Florida have been springtime enclaves for baseball aficionados, with thousands of fans making the ritual trek south each year to watch their favorite teams prepare for another season. Tapping into this wealth of baseball activity, Road Scholar provides weeks of learning, fun and excitement for baseball lovers.Take a look at the Grapefruit League Spring Training 2014 Programs and register right online; or, those needing questions answered, more information or those interested in receiving a brochure of information on spring training programs can call Road Scholar toll-free at 1-800-454-5768. For more information on Road Scholar’s other learning programs in the U.S. and abroad go online at www.RoadScholar.org.