Just a few weeks ago, I did a video and blog on the completion of Ryan Howard’s mega-mansion in Belleair Shores, Florida. You can read the blog HERE and see the video HERE.
In a Philly.com article today, Jonathan Tannewald recounts how the Howards are in trouble with the Belleair Shores mayor for an illegal construction fence. (You can read the article HERE.) In fact, in my video, I remarked on how the construction fence remained in place even after the construction has been completed. You can see the chainlink fence that is in disrepair with green canvas that is falling off and unsightly in the pictures below:
Baseball Ross and I traveled to Howard’s home, just a few miles from Clearwater to take pictures, but unlike the fans recounted in the article, we stayed at a respectful distance on the beach and on the public sidewalk on the street side.
As I mentioned in the in my blog, there is NO on-street parking in Belleaire Shores, yet the day we were there (after parking half a mile away in the ONLY PUBLIC parking lot in Belleaire Shores) we saw two cars parked on a side street across from the manse and one brazen jerk who parked IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD to take pictures. So when the article recounts large numbers of trespassers, I wouldn’t doubt it.
I understand their need for privacy, so let’s just hope that the Howards and the mayor can come to some sort of understanding.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know I’ve made several visits over the years to check on the progress and eventual completion of Ryan Howard’s mega-mansion that includes two pools, 2 elevators, a lazy river, a bowling alley and much, much more.
Today was a perfect day for a walk on a public beach. Yes, Howard’s house is on a public beach so you can walk by and take a look at his lazy river and pool. The house is located at 1700 Gulf Boulevard in Belleair Beach, Florida. Please note there is NO public parking on the streets of Belleair Beach and the closest PUBLIC parking lot is a half mile away. The beach access two lots down from Howard’s home is for Belleair Beach residents only by permit. Do not park there unless you want your car towed.
Half a mile north of his home is Morgan Park, located at 2650 Gulf Boulevard. This is Belleair Beach’s ONLY public parking beach access. It is right on the beach and is a PAID lot. The park is hard to find and this is the only marker.
There are bathrooms, outdoor showers and a small shelter. There are no drinking fountains. Be aware it is a very small lot.
Ross and I put together a video with many shots of the house and surrounding area. You can watch it HERE.
It’s been a few months since Baseball Ross and I made the pilgrimage to Belleair Shore to check on the progress of the monstrosity of a 17,000 soft home that Ryan Howard is building on the beach.
The Tampa Bay Times noted that Howard spent $80K on doorknobs alone. After several years it appears that it is nearing completion. Gone is the construction trailers, white work men’s vans and portapotties that lined the front yard.
Now that my foot is healing, I am able to get to spring training almost every day. I feel like I am playing “catch-up” after missing so many days. There are so many players that I haven’t had a chance to see, let alone photograph.
The highlight of yesterday was being able to catch Carlos Alonso’s home run:
Ryan Howard was playing and it seemed like he was struggling at the plate, striking out all three times I saw him bat, though Baseball Ross thinks he saw him hit a double later.
Baseball Ross and I had a prior commitment so we were only able to stop in for a little while to see the AAA Phillies vs the AAA Blue Jays and the AA Phillies vs the AA Blue Jays atCarpenter.
I focused on the AA game as Ruan Howard was making a guest appearance.
The thing that made me be a fangirl today was right after I took this shot, I put the camera down and said hello and Ryan Howard actually looked at me and said hello. First time that’s happened to me, so I was tickled.
Here are some pictures from the game:
Carlos Tocci about to hit the ball.
Severino Gonzalez was the starting pitcher.
Ryan Howard was inserted into the line up whenever he was ready.
When we left, it was the bottom of the 3rd, the Jays were up 2-0 and a friend of mine stated the score was the same when he left in the 9th.
Even if we didn’t win, it still was a great day for baseball.
Today it was almost like Ryan Howard was putting on a showcase. He looks good slimmer and more ready for the season than I’ve ever seen him.
He looks sharp and has obviously worked out in the off season.
Newcomer Taylor Featherston didn’t want to be outdone and he flew through the air.
Maikel Franco looked focused.
At the end the day, they did something I never saw, they donned “slide pants” and practiced sliding on special tarps. It looked like a lot of fun.
After the Major Leaguers were done, the minor leaguers that have reported early took their turn.
I was pleased to see Art Charles:
John Richy who was part of the Chase Utley deal with the Dodgers pitched today.
And finally Tommy Joseph looked good and fully recovered from last year’s injuries.
It may have been a cold, breezy day, but it was a good day for baseball.