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Gov. Rick Scott hosting event at Tropicana Field to celebrate spring training baseball


Gov. Rick Scott likes to fashion himself as Florida's spring baseball training promoter-in-chief.

Months after taking office, he ignored the booing crowd and threw out the first pitch in a spring game between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees in Tampa. Last year, he participated in a "Let's Get to Work" Day with the ground crew at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.

This year, it's a fundraising dinner benefitting the Florida Sports Foundation at the home of the Tampa Bay Rays to kick off the season. Comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo is the special guest at the dinner, to be held Feb. 13 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $75 but can be as much as $312.50 for priority seating. The price includes cocktails and a silent auction, so there's that.

The event, called the 2014 Governors Baseball Dinner, will honor 100 years of the Florida Grapefruit League. Fifteen Major League Baseball teams will hold spring training in Florida this year with games starting later this month.

A record number of people attended spring training baseball games in Florida last year, according to Scott's office. The total spring training attendance was 1.6 million people after 247 games.