Ballpark of the Palm Beaches is open for business

Almost 20 years since the last spring training game in West Palm Beach, the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches opened Tuesday for business.

Baseball fans in this area became fans of the Atlanta Braves and the Montreal Expos back in the day, and now, they have two new teams to watch play in person.

The two new home teams christening the ballpark - the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals. Carlos Beltran hit the first home run in park history - a two run shot in the fourth inning to give the Astros a 2-1 lead. But the Nationals' Michael Taylor was the hero, with a walkoff home run in the 9th. The Nationals win the first game at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in exciting fashion, 4-3.

It doesn't get any more exciting than a walk off home run. But in reality, a lot of players said Tuesday, they did not need that excitement to make this place feel special.

"The setting is awesome," said Astros manager A.J. Hinch. "It's a nice play to call home."

The Astros and Nationals both felt right at home in their first game in their home stadium. It truly was impressive, to have this ballpark completed, just 15 months after it broke ground.

"When we first came in here, the luxury boxes were barely started and there were no windows," said Nationals manager Dusty Baker. "I have to give a lot of credit to the workers for getting it done in time for today."

The players after the round, said at times the wind was tough to judge, but they really have no complaints - it was a perfect setting for baseball

'If you try to do too much that's when guys complain," said Washington starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. "But I think both sides, the Astros and the Nationals will be very very comfortable for many years to come."

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