Spring training games start Feb. 22 in Florida

Corey Perrine/Staff 
 Terry Richardson, 34, passes by Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla. Lee County Commission candidates are turning their focus to the possibility of luring the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball franchise to the park. If successful, spring training would host the District of Columbia-based team.

Photo by COREY PERRINE, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Corey Perrine/Staff Terry Richardson, 34, passes by Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla. Lee County Commission candidates are turning their focus to the possibility of luring the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball franchise to the park. If successful, spring training would host the District of Columbia-based team.

TALLAHASSEE — Florida will welcome Major League Baseball's spring training for the 125th year next month when 15 teams return to the Sunshine State to polish their skills for the 2013 season.

Pitchers and catchers can report as early as Feb. 12. The Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves will open the five-week Grapefruit League schedule Feb. 22 in Lake Buena Vista.

Big league players use spring training to round into shape and sharpen their timing before the 162-game regular season begins in early April.

Spring training in Florida will take on an added international flavor in early March when teams from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Spain are in the state for a few days as they wrap up their preparation for first-round play in the World Baseball Classic.

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