(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — Beginning on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, FOX Sports and Major League Baseball will be bringing “Spring Training to the Troops” to U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr in Germany. FOX Sports Florida will be represented by Orestes Destrade, former Florida Marlins player and current broadcast host for the Tampa Bay Rays on Sun Sports, Wade Boggs, Hall of Famer and former Rays player, and FOX Sports Florida Girl Annilie to spend a few days with the soldiers and their families as they take an intimate look inside the day-to-day life of the soldiers within the garrison.
Our local stars will be joined by national personalities among the FOX Sports family including Luke Gregerson (Padres), Heath Bell (Diamondbacks), Tim Salmon (Former player, FOX Sports West, Angels), Mario Impemba (Announcer, FOX Sports Detroit), Brian Schneider (Nationals, Expos, Phillies), Jose Tolentino (Former player, announcer FOX Deportes and Angels), Bob Brenly (Diamondbacks announcer, former player and coach), Rollie Fingers (Brewers, Hall of Famer), Jack Ensch (Director of Military Affairs for the Diamondbacks) and FOX Sports Girls representing each FOX Sports region.
The two main activities of the trip include a youth baseball clinic, Tuesday, February 5 from 4-6 p.m. at the Grafenwoehr Fieldhouse and a wiffle ball competition between Soldiers from the 709th Military Police Battalion and 172nd Infantry Brigade at the Grafenwoehr Physical Fitness Center on February 6, from 2-4 p.m. Additionally, guests will experience a typical day in the life of a Grafenwoehr soldier as they participate in army-strong physical training, realistic combat simulations, and visits to the Warrior Transition Unit and Vilseck High School. Attendees will pass on baseball knowledge to youth, talk to the high school students about sports, and mingle with soldiers’ family members.
U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr directly supports the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command (JMTC), the largest training command outside the continental United States, the Combat Maneuver Training Command, 172nd Infantry Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Regiment and many other tenant units. They also support the American Embassy in Berlin and its consulate in Munich. Today, it is the largest training area in Europe.
Spring Training to the Troops has been met with much excitement on social media from the FOX Sports Florida representatives. In preparation of her departure Annilie posted on Twitter from @FSFlorida_Girls, “Hitting the gym hard this morning to get ready for my trip to Grafenwoehr! Time to get #BaseballArmyStrong.” On Facebook, she asked fans, “So excited about my trip to Grafenwoehr Military Base in Germany! Who else has been to Germany? Any tips for being in the cold weather? This Florida girl has never even seen snow!” Orestes Destrade tweeted from @odestrade, “On way to Germany today till Fri on a cool [trip as] FOX Sports brings baseball to our army troops! Several former players including [Wade] Boggs and [Rollie] Fingers!” Similarly, Wade Boggs tweeted from @ChickenMan3010, “Heading to Germany on a USO tour to entertain the troops. Going to be great fun!”