We joined a gaggle of New York Republicans this morning to travel to Steinbrenner Field, the spring training facility of The New York Yankees.

Leaving Clearwater in a giant air-conditioned tour bus, the group was taken on something of a 90-minute odyssey through the greater Tampa area after the bus driver became more than briefly lost that resulted in more than a few momentarily peeved Republicans.

Delegation members, including Sens. John DeFrancisco, Joe Griffo and Lee Zeldin, stood patiently on line to receive an autograph from Bucky Dent, the Yankee legend who hit a game-winning home run a one-off game against the Red Sox for the American League Pennant.

On the field, delegates lined up to take batting practice (the mound was moved up to what I’m guessing was Little League regulation) as the humidity climbed to what felt like at least 80 percent.

As is tradition at nearly all of these events during convention week in Tampa, drinks and food were free.

The Yankees are registered as lobbyists in New York state.

Update: To clarify, it was the state Republican Party, not the Yankees, who paid for the event.