Gerry Adams: A Twins spring icon since 1991
When it opened in 1991, it was known as the Lee County Sports Complex.
“I watched the park being built,” Ms. Adams, 70, said in a January telephone call.
She was there working concessions when the team had a young centerfielder named Kirby Puckett, now deceased and in the Hall of Fame.
The 2017 Twins spring training roster includes pitcher Jose Berrios, third baseman Miguel Sano and outfielders Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, who weren’t even born in 1991.
“I’ve been there forever,” Ms. Adams said.
In the early years of her stretch working spring training, Ms. Adams was also working fulltime at Radiology Regional and moonlighting at the ballpark. She retired fulltime from her radiology job in 2012 and then moved to Memphis to be close to her son and grandchildren.
She used some vacation time from her radiology job so she could squeeze in spring training shifts. For almost all her time at the ballpark Ms. Adams worked in concessions but in a concession to advancing years she now works behind the scenes helping out on administrative details.
Working the ballpark for Ms. Adams is about more than slinging beer or peddling hot dogs and hamburgers or helping out behind the scenes.
“It’s family there,” Ms. Adams said of her co-workers and fans.
She also loves being around the game and hearing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” during seventh-inning stretches.
“My favorite song,” Ms. Adams said.
It’s one of the things that keep pulling her back, all the way from Memphis, even 26 years after first working spring training. It’s hard work in a concession stand or anywhere in a ballpark.
“When it’s over you’re so exhausted,” Ms. Adams said of spring training. “But I can’t wait to get there.”
Oh, there is another benefit to coming back to Fort Myers every February.
“It gets me out of winter,” Ms. Adams said. ¦