Sunday, May 23, 2021

1989 Spring Training Program - Twins vs. Astros

 This is not an ordinary spring training program - this seems to have been a special game played in Daytona Beach, FL to help the local summer team, the Bellemeads, raise money for a trip to Russia.

It's tough to find much online about old spring training games. However the Twins won 3-2 when John Christensen scored in the bottom of the ninth when Houston third baseman Ron Washington made an error.

The Bellemeads did go to Russia, and apparently the next year Russia came to Daytona Beach, as there is a 1990 schedule for a tournament with a team from Kiev tucked into the program.

Most of the program looks like the advertising section of a high school yearbook. Other than the Coke ad above there is not much with graphics. Other well-known brands include Honda, Harley-Davidson and Albertsons, in addition to a lot of local businesses. Happy to show other photos from those ads if anyone wants.

This note was interesting - raising money to build a Jackie Robinson monument. (Robinson played his first spring training game in Daytona Beach.) The statue was completed in 1990 and unveiled in a ceremony with Jackie's widow, Rachel.

Here's the scorecard which was inserted loose in the program. The Astros are on the left, the Twins are on the right, and in the middle are the Bellemeads, sorted by high school. Jason Varitek is the only one to make the major leagues, though Chris Roberts pitched several years in the Mets organization. Here is a 1989 article about Varitek, going into his senior year of high school, looking forward to his Russia trip.
Here are the Bellemeads with some yearbook-style photos and quotes.
Looks like Varitek had some fans at Orlando Tool & Fastener.


  1. That "Having an Affair?" advertisement confused me for a moment. I thought, "Why would anyone ask a sound, lighting, and video company to document their extramarital activities?" And then I kept reading and realized they weren't talking about that kind of affair.

  2. I don't believe I've ever heard anything about Russians playing baseball? It looks odd even typing it.