Volume 2 Issue | July 2022

As a Home Watch provider, we want each of your return trips to Sarasota to feel as refreshing as the first. Our "Piece of Paradise" newsletters provide a brief glimpse into Florida homeownership, followed by a featured activity for your next visit.

Homeowner Insight

Backyard barbecues are an American pastime, although some of Sarasota's best grilling weather hits in November. While you likely remembered to clean your indoor kitchen appliances before leaving for the summer, did you properly prepare and store your outdoor grill? Cleaning and covering your grill can not only extend its life, but also discourage pests from turning it into their summer home. Read more maintenance tips from Taste of Home, and let us know if you'd like us to sneak a peek under your grill cover the next time we visit.

July Piece Of Paradise

Baseball and Apple Pie

A miniature baseball diamond pays homage to baseball days gone by at Payne Park.

With the Fourth of July so recently behind us, we decided to investigate two of the most "American" concepts in the country's history - baseball and apple pie. Sarasota has a long tradition of welcoming professional ball players. In 1924 Payne Park opened to host spring training for the New York Giants. Subsequently the Indianapolis Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox called it their seasonal home.

This undated photo of a game at Payne Park was made public by the Sarasota County History Center on the Sarasota History Alive website.

In 1988 the White Sox moved to Sarasota's new Ed Smith baseball stadium. That stadium was later called home by the Cincinnati Reds, and has been the spring training site of the Baltimore Orioles since 2010. 

Ed Smith Stadium hosts activities year-round, from the occasional music performance, to community events, to baseball games from varying leagues.

In 2019 Sarasota County partnered with Wellen Park to open a second major league spring training stadium, known as Cool Today Park. The park is host to the Atlanta Braves during their spring training season.

Other spring training stadiums are a short drive from Sarasota County. Bradenton hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates, Fort Myers hosts the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, and Charlotte County hosts theTampa Bay Rays.

If you're looking for an in-season Major League game, catch the Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg - an easy one-hour drive from Sarasota. The stadium is air conditioned and easy to maneuver. It even has a touch tank of Cow Nose Stingrays to fit with the theme.

The dome over Tropicana Field keeps the sweet, sweet air conditioning inside...

Or, check out a game at the youth level by swinging past the Nick Lucas Cal Ripken Fields right next to Ed Smith stadium. Call us ahead of time and we'll let you know if we plan to be in the stands!

The county's youth fields on 12th St are well-groomed, equipped with bleachers, and set up for beautiful  night games like this one.

Detwiler's specializes in fresh produce and food goods that are made in the store or by local artisans.

What's another "very American" component of Independence Day celebrations? Apple pie, of course! Our first instinct for a local-baked apple pie was to head to Der Dutchman or Yoder's. Both are in the Amish community of Pinecraft, and both are known for their delicious homestyle cooking. Note: these restaurants are popular spots for pre-ordering pies at Thanksgiving, but be prepared to wait in long lines!

We decided to check online reviews to see if there were any bakeries we might be overlooking. Surprisingly (or not), Detwiler's was ranked #1 for apple pies! Detwiler's Farm Market is renowned for their selection of fresh produce. We stopped in on a Saturday and were treated to free samples of sweet chili shrimp and cornbread. (On a previous visit, everyone received a free cone of ice cream!) But at the end of the day, there was no beating our reason for the visit - that was indeed some world-class apple pie.

Detwiler's apple pie crust, filling, and brown sugar crumble topping are all made in the store.

Learn more about our Home Watch services, Florida homeownership, and activity ideas in and around the Sarasota area on the Coastal Haven website.
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