Baseball season is upon us, but you don't need to go to a Major League game to enjoy excitement and fun. Our real estate agents know that a hard-fought Minor League game can be a joy to behold. As you explore Bradenton homes for sale or go across the way to Sarasota homes for sale, you'll have the best Minor League Baseball action right in your own backyard.
Bradenton is home to the Bradenton Marauders, the Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. They play from historic LECOM Park, originally known as McKechnie Field, which has witnessed some of the greatest baseball games ever played in the Southeast.
A wonderful thing about Minor League Baseball is that you can enjoy it both before and after wrapping up the Major League season. There's always a welcoming community vibe, especially when LECOM Park is operated by the volunteer Bradenton Boosters during spring training.
Let's take a closer look and learn all about the team and venue.
About the Bradenton Marauders
Part of the Florida State League, the Bradenton Marauders are the Single-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Like the field in which they now play, the Marauders have a longer history than one might think: They're directly descended from the Tampa Tarpons, which started in 1957.
In April of 2010, the Marauders played their first game in front of nearly 2,400 spectators at what was then called McKechnie Field, named after Bradenton resident and Hall of Fame inductee Bill McKechnie. In a promising start for the team, they defeated the Fort Myers Miracle with a score of 18-3.
In their first season, the Marauders led the league in runs, batting average, and on-base percentage.
The 2011 season is when the Marauders really established the vibrant local fanbase that they still have to this day. They attracted more than 56,000 fans after 40 home games, a complete turnaround, and a record-breaking performance in the world of Minor League Baseball.
They made an even bigger mark starting in 2015, their first-ever championship season, where they capped off one of the most memorable streaks of the decade to defeat the Tampa Yankees by three games to one. It was their first Florida State League title and truly put them on the map.
A Truly Historic Bradenton Landmark
LECOM Park was renamed in 2017 but is perhaps best known as McKechnie Field, where it has been closely associated with the Pittsburgh Pirates since 1925. Opening in 1923 as City Field, it has been called "Florida's Fenway Park." It's the oldest stadium in the U.S. and is still used for spring training.
It also stands shoulder to shoulder with world-famous Wrigley Field and Fenway Park as the third-oldest stadium still used by a Major League Team. Its layout, nostalgic appearance, and standard amenities have made it a stomping ground for the most enthusiastic baseball purists.
One of the most unique aspects of this family-friendly park is the role of the nonprofit Bradenton Boosters. The Boosters have worked hard for nearly a century to support and improve the venue – many of its upgrades and updates over time can be traced back to fundraising campaigns by these volunteers.
Throughout the spring training season, you'll find the Bradenton Boosters serving as ushers, security personnel, merchants, and press box attendants. It's one more way LECOM Park is a unique local institution.
Be sure to check out their home game schedule so you can experience this baseball diamond in person!
Contact us to learn more about Bradenton and Sarasota.
Science fiction movies are fun, but they can't beat the excitement and wonder of exploring real-life stories. Our real estate agents love learning about our world at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, just minutes from Bradenton homes for sale.
About the Bishop
Opened in 1947, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is the largest natural history museum on the Gold Coast. Baby Snoots, a West Indian manatee affectionately known as Snooty, arrived in 1949 and became the museum's signature attraction.
Thanks to the museum's popularity, it moved into its current larger home in 1966. In time, exhibits grew to include the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat along with a replica of Barcarrota's Plaza, a 16th-century Spanish town.
In 2001, an electrical fire destroyed the planetarium and seriously damaged the museum's educational wing and administrative areas. Happily, in September 2002, the museum reopened bigger and better than ever. Throughout the years, renovations and additions have continued, maintaining the museum's status as a must-see destination.
The Bishop Planetarium
After being leveled by the 2001 fire, the Bishop Planetarium reopened in June 2005 as the top astronomy facility on the Gold Coast, not far from Sarasota homes for sale. The state-of-the-art projection system includes cutting-edge software that's 1.5 times brighter than the previous system, with four times the contrast.
Shows like "Passport to the Universe," narrated by Tom Hanks, take viewers on a virtual trip through the cosmos. Get a fascinating look at what lies beyond our own solar system and watch phenomenons like black holes. In addition, the planetarium can recreate a dark sky natural environment, allowing for the display of live on-air events as they happen.
Mosaic Backyard Universe
As part of the goal to make science fun and accessible for all, the museum created its latest addition, the Mosaic Backyard Universe. A one-time parking lot has been transformed into a backyard where kids can learn in a familiar setting. Features include a Tree House Platform, Cardboard Rocket, fossil-filled Dig Pit, Science Shed, and freshwater pond that's home to a number of turtles.
Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat
Sadly, Snooty passed away in 2017 at the age of 69. But his legacy lives on in the Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat, a 60,000-gallon pool where sick and injured manatees can prepare for their return to the wild. The habitat is designed to resemble a cypress spring so they can once again become accustomed to the food and environment they'll encounter. Above- and below-water viewing areas give visitors a chance to watch the manatees regain their strength and abilities.
Other Exhibits of Interest
Information and Hours
The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is located at 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $23.95 for adults, $17.95 for ages 12-17, $14.95 for ages 5-11, and $8.95 for ages 2-4.
Life in Bradenton and Sarasota goes beyond fun in the sun. If you're selling or buying a home, contact us at Wagner Realty for cheerful and experienced assistance.
Moving to Bradenton is a dream come true. The climate is great, the scenery is better, and there are always plenty of fun things to do. There are many beautiful Bradenton Beach homes for sale, for every need and every taste.
Then once you're moved in, unwind by spending the day at the Riverwalk: a one-and-a-half-mile stretch on the Manatee River, where families can come to hike, play sports, enjoy some entertainment, and have a bite to eat. Here's a look at what the Riverwalk has to offer.
Sports and Outdoor Activities
Located right on the beach, the Riverwalk features several great volleyball courts. Whether you're organizing a serious tournament or having a friendly game with friends, it's a great way to spend an afternoon.
There's also a skate park in the area, beneath the highway. Designed based on a survey of over 1,400 actual skaters, it has everything a skateboarder could want, including ledges, stairs, rails, and a pool, complete with tile and coping.
There's also a back trail for hiking and biking, which is great for all skill levels. Plus a pier on the beach for fishing. Whatever outdoor activities you're looking to participate in, there's space for them at the Riverwalk.
Arts and Entertainment
The Mosaic Amphitheater is a 400-seat outdoor performance space, which hosts everything from plays to concerts to school and community performances, and more. Come see what's playing, or even see about hosting your own performance event there!
You should also check out the outdoor art gallery. There are 19 different pieces in the gallery, including paintings and sculptures, as well as interactive pieces designed to promote learning and spark creativity in young people.
There are a number of great places to eat in downtown Bradenton, and some of the best are on the Riverwalk. Mattison's Riverwalk Grille Bradenton serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Their menu includes everything from pasta to seafood and steak to French Toast and avocado toast, plus a variety of specialty cocktails like cranberry maple and honey basil. Plus, try their "breakfast sundae": Greek yogurt, toasted granola, wildflower honey, and seasonal fruit.
If you're looking for more of a sports bar feel, check out Oak & Stone. They serve up basic foods like pizza and sandwiches, along with more off-beat fare, like crispy mozzarella and meatball lollipops, or Philly Cheesesteak eggrolls. Plus a variety of delicious craft beers on tap.
Or, if you want something upscale, try PIER 22, for gorgeous outdoor dining, right on the waterfront. They serve up delicious burgers and steaks, alongside premium seafood and sushi, and much more.
Parking and Other Considerations
There's always plenty of parking at the Riverwalk. Between the lots and street parking, there are over 1,700 spaces in the area. Street parking is free on weekdays, with a two-hour time limit. On weekends, all parking is free and unlimited, both on the street and in the lots.
The entire area is designed to be ADA-accessible. And soon, the Riverwalk will be expanding, thanks to a grant from the Manatee Community Foundation. Plans are in the works, based on input from the local community, to make the Riverwalk an even better and more accessible place for Bradenton arts, culture, and other activities to thrive.
The Riverwalk is just the beginning of what this area has to offer. If you're ready to make Bradenton your new home, contact us. Our real estate agents can show you all the best Bradenton homes for sale, and help you find the one that best meets your needs.
With its amazing weather and beautiful beaches, it's not hard to see why purchasing a vacation home in Florida is the ultimate dream for thousands of people all over the world. Not only is a Florida vacation home a great escape, but it's also a fantastic investment. Florida is a hot real estate market, and it's easy to generate rental income from a second home when you're not using it
If buying a Florida vacation home is one of your New Year's resolutions this year, here are some tips from our real estate agents on how to find the right dream home for you:
A Florida vacation home doesn't have to be a dream. If you're planning to make a purchase in 2022, now is a great time to start your research. For more info on the Florida real estate market, contact us today.
Shopping local is the perfect way to support small businesses during the holiday season. This year, our real estate agents suggest that you leave Black Friday to the crowd-followers. On November 27, be a trend-setter and support Small Business Saturday by patronizing these amazing shops around Bradenton and Sarasota.
Wagner Realty is proud to be part of the vibrant business community around Bradenton and Sarasota. Contact us for help with all your real estate needs.
Although current events may have canceled your global travel plans, there's still plenty of time to have an amazing vacation close to home. Our REALTORS® invite you to plan a staycation at one of our Florida rental properties. Situated near or directly on the sandy shores of the Gulf Coast, these rental properties allow you to soak up the sun and maximize your time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the simple pleasures that the Sunshine State has to offer.
Who says you can't staycation forever? We have a portfolio of gorgeous Longboat Key homes for sale on the water and many stunning Bradenton Beach homes for sale within a short stroll to the shore. Contact us today to book one of our amazing rental homes and discover what life is like along the Gulf Coast.
Sticking to an exercise routine can be tough, especially during the holiday season. Between last-minute shopping, fun community events, and celebrations with family and friends, finding time for the gym is difficult. Thankfully, these fitness centers around Manatee and Sarasota Counties make it easy to stay in shape during the holidays.