The Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins are both residents of Ft. Myers in spring training and that means a battle for the Mayor’s Cup.
There is a battle each spring that takes place in Florida between the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins. Is it bigger than the World Series? The Super Bowl? The World Cup? It is the scintillating battle for the Mayor’s Cup. And to stop any snickers it is a trophy type cup. And for sticklers, the real title is the Lee County Mayor’s Cup.
Why is this cup so significant?
Well – Red Sox Nation – Fort Myers is a divided city. There is a dual allegiance that has existed since both the Red Sox and the Twins have their spring training facilities firmly planted in the quaint city noted for traffic gridlock, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and the life and death struggle of two professional baseball teams for the cup.
Normally a dual franchise would be a subway series but Ft. Meyers is limited to a trolley. Now for Bostonians a trolley usually is something that one would find on the Green Line. The Green Line is prone to accidents, the trolley’s reek of urine and vomit, and are heated in the summer and cooled in the winter and generally force you to be far too close to your fellow carbon-based life forms. Not so, in Ft. Myers. A typical hop on and off tourist transit that one can take in the general vicinity from one forgettable tourist stop to another. They tend to call it a “trolley,” but it does not run on rails – so a trolley? Nah. Faux trolley.
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The Twins play at Hammond Stadium that is the center piece of the CenturyLink Sports Complex. I’m not sure what CenturyLink is? A bank? Communications company? The Red Sox play at Jet Blue Park that was built specifically for the Red Sox by the locals after threats of moving unless they could have a state of the art playground on someone else’s dime.
So there is incredible personal pride at stake for both the locals and the teams.
How does one get the cup? The cup is based on an intricate formula that takes a bit of understanding. The team that wins the most games in their season confrontations with each gets the cup. Head-to-Head! Mano a Mano! I have no idea what happens in case of a tie? Maybe a home run derby? Rock, scissors, paper by the managers?
There is actually a cup. A real cup! Reports are it is a plastic concoction that has had various additions made to it over the years such as athletic tape, a wooden base that may or may not have been original and the occasionally engraved plate. Doing diligent research I did come across a picture of the cup and all that copy write stuff prevents me from tossing it out in this post. Trust me – this is a cup that could easily run you twenty-five bucks in a pawn shop. Traditionally the team that has the honor of winning the cup the previous year brings the cup to sit on the bench when you play. Sometimes it is only brought when you are the visitor and other times it is simply ignored.
One of the highlights of Terry Francona’s tenure with the Red Sox was a four-year winning streak on the cup battle. I am sure this has pushed his World Series collectables into the trunk in his basement.
As far as I have been able to determine the cup is still in play. Still a topic of intense team competition and brutal family divides within the Fort Meyers community. I, however, have not been able to determine exactly where the cup currently resides? Has anyone even seen it recently? Is the cup like Amelia Earhart and a mysterious disappearance? I am sure that it must be somewhere?
So the Big Story may be a twofer season for the Boston Red Sox – the prestigious Mayor’s Cup and a World Series trophy.