Location: 26811 South Tamiami Trail | Bonita Springs, FL 34134
The name Roy Hobbs conjures up a few different things for people.
If you’re a resident of Fort Myers in Southwest Florida, the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series is probably the first thing that comes to mind. If you are an avid baseball lover, your focus is probably on Roy Hobbs, the fictitious baseball player. You know, the one played by Robert Redford in the 1980s movie, “The Natural.”
Each year, baseball players arrive in Fort Myers with their families to play in the annual Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series, which accommodates amateur players 35 years old and older. Baseball is our national pastime and the game of baseball holds a special place in the hearts of many. Whether you’re here for the weather, tagging along with one of the players, or for the game itself, the Roy Hobbs baseball tournament is one of the most popular annual events in Southwest Florida.
The Roy Hobbs annual world series tournament also helps boost Southwest Florida’s economy. People here for the tournament tend to spend more money on restaurants, things to do and places to stay while they’re in town. In 1993, 54 teams competed in the tournament. Now five times as many teams compete. It’s safe to say the Roy Hobbs World Series won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
If you are planning on playing in the tournament, why not bring the whole family along for the ride? After all, it is the perfect reason to plan a vacation. And with so many nearby cities to explore, from downtown Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, you’ll always be able to find something to do.
Those participating in the World Series tournament can sign up for a locker room instead of changing into their uniforms at the hotel and driving to games in uniforms like many did back in Little League. With the choice to change in the locker room, players can really feel and play like big-leaguers. And if you’re a Boston Red Sox fan, this will be extra special. Those participating in the tournament who opt for the locker room can suit up and prepare for the game in the same place the Boston Red Sox used not long ago. Those players will also gain access to undeniable perks including professional trainers and professional baseball veterans who know how to prevent and treat injuries. Shoes will be shined and uniforms will be laundered and placed in players’ lockers for the next day. Players who choose the locker room perk will also be treated to a continental breakfast, post-game refreshments and between-game snacks. There is also a clubhouse for players’ companions.
The 2019 Roy Hobbs World Series will be the 31st overall Roy Hobbs World Series and the 27th held in Lee County. Each year the World Series continues to bring money into Southwest Florida’s economy. In 2005, its economic impact was $8 million. In 2010, it increased to $10.5 million and $15 million five years later in 2015.
There are a lot of factors that go into the economic boost. In 2017, 809 games were played in 28 days, and more than 4,000 baseballs were used. It’s also significant that the tournament is held in the months leading up to tourist season before Southwest Florida sees the tourism boom associated with the seasonal months of January to May.
The Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series helps people from all over get to know Fort Myers. And maybe they’ll tell a friend or two or five how much they love it.
Roy Hobbs Baseball began in California in 1988. In 1993, the organization was turned over to Ellen and Tom Giffen, who moved the event to Fort Myers—where it’s been ever since.
Players get to play in impressive venues, from the historic Terry Park to JetBlue Park, also known as Fenway South, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox. Terry Park boasts four fields and a significant history. At various times throughout the years, from 1925 through 1987, the park was the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia A’s. Legends such as Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, George Brett, Roberto Clemente and Bob Feller once played here.
The newest venue is Fenway South, where the Red Sox have practiced since 2012. It has the same dimensions as the Sox’s Boston home, Fenway Park, and it even features a replica of the Green Monster.
Players will also get to play at the City of Palms Park in downtown Fort Myers, along with Terry Park and Fenway South. Greats like Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Roger Clemens and Mo Vaughn have played here. It has a bit of superstitious luck associated with it, as it was the Red Sox’s spring training home when they broke the alleged Curse of the Bambino in 2004, winning the championship for the first time in 86 years.
If a trip to Fort Myers and some good old fashioned baseball sound like the ultimate vacation, we can help you plan and make lasting memories for years to come. Whether you know someone participating in the Roy Hobbs Baseball World Series or you just love baseball and warm weather, we invite you to check out the popular annual event. If you have any questions about the tournament or about Fort Myers, our Vacation Planning Advisors can help you out. Let us know what your favorite part of the Roy Hobbs World Series is in the comments below. Or connect with us on social media!