- February 19, 2015
WINTER GARDEN — Baseball-loving youngsters Mason Mojica and Mark-David Simmerly got a taste of just how far back their beloved game runs in Winter Garden Aug. 3.
The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation kicked off it’s “Play ball! Winter Garden’s love of the game” photographic exhibition on Monday with a free open-house party at the History Research and Education Center. The event, co-sponsored by the Winter Garden Squeeze, debuted the 24 narrated images of Winter Garden’s baseball past and future that will run from Aug. 3 through Oct. 30 at Winter Garden City Hall and then from Nov. 2 through Dec. 11 at the Winter Garden Public Library.
The exhibit includes photos from Winter Garden’s history as a spring training destination, a home to a baseball academy and other baseball-related history. Representatives from the Squeeze and the Florida Collegiate Summer League, including Squeeze Manager Ed Taubensee, General Manager Adam Bates and Winter Garden Tangelos Manager Jay Welsh were all in attendance, as were interns for the franchise.
For Rich Mojica, Mason’s father, it was a nice opportunity to help give his son — a ballplayer for Winter Garden Little League — some perspective.
“To see all these black-and-white photos, and see the rich history of baseball in our little town is really super cool,” Rich Mojica said. “It’s really cool, especially with this growing town that we have. It’s cool that we have that history and that past.”
Mojica, who has lived in Winter Garden for seven years after growing up in South Florida, said the town’s baseball history is probably a mystery to many of its residents — even those associated with the game.
“The average person within Winter Garden Little League would not know,” Mojica said. “The field we use for our juniors and seniors, that’s the same field they used to have spring training on.”
For more information on the Heritage Foundation and the exhibit, visit wghf.org.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].