Explore Port St. Lucie's Clover Park
Welcome to Clover Park, located in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Spend the day on the Treasure Coast and catch future big league Mets in their newly renovated ballpark at night.
St. Lucie Mets (Affiliate of the New York Mets since 1988)
League: Florida State League
Ballpark: Clover Park (opened 1988, as Thomas J. White Stadium. Formerly known as Tradition Field, Digital Domain Park and First Data Field.)
Championships: 1988, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2022
Notable Alumni: Edgardo Alfonzo, Pete Alonso, Jacob deGrom, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, José Reyes, Tim Tebow, David Wright
From their inception in 1962 through the mid-1980s, the New York Mets called Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., their Spring Training home. By those later years, the facility not only celebrated its 40th birthday in 1987 but was housing multiple tenants. In 1986, plans were developed for a new stadium on the east coast of the state in Port St. Lucie. Completed in time for the 1988 season, the Mets moved their Spring Training operations to the new facility and brought a Minor League team with them.
Ballpark Location (via Google Maps)
St. Lucie Mets Schedule
St. Lucie Mets Roster
31 Piazza Drive, Suite 1
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
Dimensions: left field, 338 feet; center field, 410 feet; right field, 338 feet
With their shiny new digs ready to go in 1988, the Mets ended their Class-A affiliation in Lynchburg, Va., and began a team-owned operation in Port St. Lucie. The baby Mets celebrated a league championship in their first season and were rewarded with a promotion to the Class-A Advanced level in 1990, where they remained through 2020, picking up four more titles along the way. In just their second season back at the Single-A level in 2022, St. Lucie raised another banner, tying it with Daytona for the most among active Florida State League franchises.
Very few players skip St. Lucie on the way to the Majors, in past years because it served as the last step before the jump to Double-A -- traditionally the most difficult level-to-level challenge in the Minors -- and due to its proximity (about a thousand feet) to the Minor League clubhouse on the facility's backfields where the extended spring camp and Florida Complex League Mets teams operate out of.
In addition, Clover Park is typically the first stop on an injured Mets player's return to the Majors, since players with long-term ailments usually begin rehabbing at the Minor League complex before progressing to game action. David Wright hit .321 in eight games with St. Lucie in 2015 before returning to lead the Mets to a World Series berth, while Jacob deGrom challenged helpless Minor League hitters with triple-digit fastballs over three starts between 2021 and 2022.
Returning guests to Clover Park may struggle to recognize the stadium if it's their first visit since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility underwent a $57 million renovation project that was mostly completed just before Spring Training in 2020, and nowhere is it more evident than the exterior, which features a new staircase that leads directly to the concourse behind home plate and plenty of Mets-themed signage along the walls.
Inside, the stadium maintains its original feel with the clamshell canopy and two-level seating structure still intact. The seats themselves, however, were replaced, giving the park a much-needed shine. Sit on the lower level to get up close to the field -- an affordable experience unique to Minor League Baseball -- or park yourself on the upper level to take advantage of the shade (if you're attending a game under the relentless Florida sun) and the views of the also-refurbished backfield complex beyond the left field wall.
The interior concourse was widened and allows for easier access to the seating bowl. The walkway down the third-base line was extended and feature shaded areas and picnic tables.
The hallmark of the park is the berm that spans the area beyond the right-field wall, added in 2004. The grassy expanse is a treat for families looking to spread out on a blanket and enjoy baseball in its purest form. During some Spring Training games, finding a spot to claim can be a challenge, but arrive early and you shouldn't have any issues. There are concessions and restrooms located behind the hill.
After nearly two decades of entertaining fans in Port St. Lucie, Slider the Dog was traded to another Mets affiliate -- the rookie-level Kingsport Mets -- in 2013 for an undisclosed return (mascot to be named later?). Then, St. Lucie introduced Klutch, clearly of a similar species to Slider, though his bright blue fur and orange cap make him unmistakably a Met.
In addition to your traditional ballpark fare, Clover Park boasts its share of unique options. On the concourse you'll find the Taco in a Helmet stand, a longtime favorite. The ground beef or chicken and taco mix-ins don't quite fill up a real batting helmet, but it's much larger than the typical soft serve ice cream helmet. Other popular food stands include cheese-filled arepas (South American corn cakes) and deli sandwiches, a welcome presence for New York transplants.
For a variety of adult beverages, visit the Jim Beam Bourbon Bar located on the new left field patio, which can be accessed through the concourse on the third base side. In addition to the drink menu, it makes for an excellent spot to hang out for a few innings -- perhaps you'll even catch a home run ball.
It goes without saying that Florida's beaches on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean are worth a trip on their own. Jensen Beach, Fort Pierce and Vero Beach are a few of the popular destinations nearby.
If you have even a passing interest in golf, the PGA Village is a fan's heaven. Ranked as one of the top golfing resorts in the country, the site also features an education center, instruction areas and a gallery with tons of pieces from the game's history.
Shopping malls are within short driving distances, while a few extra miles down to West Palm Beach (where the most convenient major airport is also located) opens you up to some of the most luxurious outlets in the state.
Food and drink
Two personal favorites: Berry Fresh Cafe for breakfast and lunch and West End Grill for dinner. Tutto Fresco's Italian cuisine is much more upscale, but is more than worth the treat.
Duffy's Sports Grill will be familiar to Florida natives, but the Port St. Lucie location is a local staple. You'll have more TVs showing live sports than you'll ever need, plus the bowling alley and arcade at Superplay next door make for a fun night for families.
With the main spots all located around the ballpark, you're bound to run into a few players in the Starbucks line or dining out after a long day of baseball.
Hotels near the ballpark are plentiful, from traditional accommodations like the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, located just off the main drag and across the street from Duffy’s, to more luxurious options that take advantage of the PGA Village and the beach.
A word of caution: the affordable options tend to fill up quickly in February and March, when Mets fans escape the cold weather up north to watch their team during Spring Training.
The great thing about touring the Florida ballparks is that you have an extra month to do it. Of the nine stadiums in the Florida State League, all but Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach serve as the Major League affiliate's Spring Training home. That means they're in use from the start of the Grapefruit League at the end of February to the conclusion of the FSL postseason in late September.
While all of the ballparks are geographically condensed in comparison to other circuits, Clover Park's only true neighbor is Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., about 30 miles south, which hosts both the Marlins' Jupiter Hammerheads and the Cardinals' Palm Beach Cardinals. One drive to the Gulf Coast grants easy access to a collection of parks in Bradenton, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tampa and Lakeland.
The Road to Queens
Once promoted from Single-A, Mets prospects spend the rest of their journey to Citi Field in New York State. Prior to the Minor League reorganization in 2020, Brooklyn was two levels below St. Lucie, which then funneled players back up to Binghamton and Syracuse. Now, the path to the Majors is a bit more GPS-friendly.
Single-A: St. Lucie Mets
High-A: Brooklyn Cyclones
Double-A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Triple-A: Syracuse Mets