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While most students going to Florida during their mid-semester break will be looking forward to easy living and relaxing on the beach, the Harvard varsity baseball team will be trying to determine its starting line-up.
As head coach Loyal Park says, "The boys have been working real hard. This will be a good time to find out where we are at, and to try to put the puzzle together."
The team will be in St. Petersberg from April 1-8 and during that time they will play 12 games, including double-headers against Point Park College, Spring Arbor College, Florida Presbyterian College, and CCNY.
Harvard, which had its best season ever last year--finishing fifth in the nation and making the World Series of college baseball--will be "reconstructing," according to Park. "We lost our catcher, first baseman, one outfielder, and three of our four top pitchers," Park said.
Yet, according to Park, almost all the positions are open. Park added "Yesterday, when I went to make out a starting line-up. I could only think of three players who would definitely start, the other five positions are up for grabs."
While the varsity ballplayers are battling for the starting spots, they will be living and practicing in first class accommodations.
While in Florida, they will stay at the Holiday Inn in north St. Petersberg. The team will be practicing and playing most of its games in Miller Higgens Ballpark, spring practice home of the New York Mets.
"It's really a great deal." Park said, "the Mets leave March 31, and we move in the next day. The guys are really looking forward to playing down there."
When they are not playing ball, the 22 or 23 players will be able to enjoy themselves in the Florida vacation atmosphere. Among the popular diversions, coach Park states "There is lots to do down there. Some of the guys go to the Jailai, but most of the players just like to relax in the pool and get a nice tan."
With the team working hard for several weeks now, everyone is in good shape, and most of the players realize the importance of the Florida trip. Yet, when asked whether the prevalent attitude will be all work and no play, coach Park said "Listen, this is their vacation, and, besides, these guys are from Harvard and they like to have fun too."
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