A worker is silhouetted in a web of netting as he removes the roof over the first-base reserve section at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. The metal roofs have not only protected fans from the sun since the stadium’s renovation in 1993, but also from pop-ups. Baseballs drop from the sky with such force that they sound like the crack of a gun as they hit the metal covering, often followed by “wows” from the crowd. Now, after a structural assessment determined that repairs were needed, the roofs have been removed, opening the sky for star-gazing during those warm summer nights while watching the Bradenton Marauders. The roofs will eventually be replaced and once again the sound of falling baseballs will resonate throughout the Friendly City. McKechnie Field is one of the oldest spring training stadiums in Florida. Built in 1923 as the southern home of the St. Louis Cardinals, it has been used by the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, and in 1969 became the southern home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.