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Play ball: Bisons open spring schedule tomorrow

The Bisons' season opener is less than a month away, as it's April 7 at Coca-Cola Field against Syracuse. And the 13-game spring training schedule in Florida opens Thursday when the Herd meets the New Orleans Zephyrs at the Florida Marlins' complex in Jupiter.

All games start at 1 p.m. and the opponents will be either New Orleans, Memphis (St. Louis) or Syracuse (Washington). Memphis shares the Jupiter complex with the Marlins while the Nationals' complex is in Viera, near the Kennedy Space Center. Seven games are at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie.

I get a lot of inquiries about this every year from folks heading to Florida. There is usually no admission charge to minor-league games. They're usually on back fields (e.g. maybe a couple rows of bleachers and no scoreboards, etc). Don't look for Bisons uniforms because the players are all wearing uniforms of the big-league clubs. Be wary of a game at the same time as a major-league game because that's when you can usually get hit with parking or admission charges to the complex.

It's awesome to get an up-close view of a game from behind a screen but stay alert for foul balls! And if you're looking for autographs, you can often get them as soon as a game is over. But don't go poking near the dugout trying to get them during a game. Major fan fail.

---Mike Harrington

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