Hometown hero Alex Rodriguez played in Miami for the first time since high school, while the scenic waterfront site of exhibition games for more than eight decades hosted its final game in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Adam Dunn homered and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 on Friday in the final game at Al Lang Field.
"I'm kind of a nostalgic freak," said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who took in his first game at Al Lang after hitchhiking to St. Petersburg from Tampa, where his college team was playing in the early 1970s.
"Believe me, you can't find a better setting for a spring training game to be played. For those who never had the chance to encounter it, it's two bad because this truly is the essence of spring training."
A different type of nostalgia reigned across the state.
For the first time since A-Rod was a senior at Westminster Christian High in 1993, he finally got to play in his hometown.
With 150 of his friends and family in the crowd a "world record" player ticket buy, he said Rodriguez and his New York Yankees visited the Florida Marlins on Friday in their next-to-last exhibition game of the spring. Dozens of fans swarmed the Yankees' dugout in A-Rod's No. 13 jerseys, most imploring him in Spanish to sign something for them.
"Coming up here and being a part of South Florida high school sports, potentially going to play football and baseball at the University of Miami, it's nice to come full circle," said Rodriguez.