On Sunday morning, November 8, when we jumped out of our SuperShuttle at the Tampa Airport to return to the San Francisco Bay Area, I remarked to my dad that we must have been the only visitors to St. Petersburg, Florida, who never spent a single moment at the beach.
Known as “Sunshine City,” St. Pete holds a Guinness World Record for experiencing the most consecutive days of sunshine — a total of 768 days that began in 1967!
Even though the temperature hovered in the high 80s during our visit and the humidity was unlike anything I had endured before, we just didn’t have time to enjoy the sunshine.
From the moment we left our hotel each morning at 8:30 a.m., we were out all day, meeting people and touring the streetscape. During the 72 hours we spent in St. Pete:
- We took walking tours of two of the city’s historic neighborhoods, downtown and 22nd Street South (aka The Deuces);
- Went behind the scenes at Al Lang Stadium, the spring training home of the New York Yankees (1947-1961) and the St. Louis Cardinals (1947-1997);
- We’re led on a private tour of the city’s most famous hotel (Vinoy Park);
- And I conducted close to a dozen interviews that included retired Yankee outfielder, Hector Lopez, who played alongside Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, and two of the surviving children of Dr. Ralph Wimbish, the central figure of my forthcoming book.
The beach will just have to wait. The business of research comes first.