When spring training opened earlier this week, most major league teams were running their wind sprints and getting ready to play their exhibition games in Florida, Arizona and California towns where tourism—and all that it brings with it—is a major industry. The Pirates were an exception. They were working out in Bradenton, Fla., a town whose only big business is citrus juice and whose spring-training tradition dates back to the Gas House Gang. Chances are the Cardinals of 40 years ago would have no trouble recognizing the old place. It manifests little of the tourist boom that has swept the state, and even McKechnie Field, the local park where the Pirates play their exhibition games, has none of the big-time trappings of its concrete counterparts in other Florida towns and cities. And few of the spectators there are vacationers, unless you count the grandchildren of the retirees who make up most of Bradenton's citizenry and baseball crowds. In a place where the pace of life is as slow as the speed limits, the idea of a big bash is the De Soto Festival, a strictly amateur historical reenactment that allows Bradentonians, old and young, to parade around in costume. All of which tends to make a spring-training visit to Bradenton special. To fans, the players are a little more accessible, the atmosphere is a bit more nostalgic and the games, somehow, are a little better.