Spring Season Scottsdale Baseball

Cactus League spring training gives baseball fans a jump on the season.

Scottsdale’s ideal spring sunshine and warm temperatures start as early as the end of February, perfectly coinciding with the Cactus League’s spring training schedule. Baseball fans get an early start cheering for their favorites as 15 major league teams train in Scottsdale and Phoenix each year. As many as 11 games can be scheduled in a single day during this time, guaranteeing visitors to the area a good time during the game and plenty of places to celebrate – or nurse bruised egos – after the last inning.

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It all started in 1947 when the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians came to the area to escape from the cold weather of their home fields and prepare for their upcoming seasons. Other teams quickly caught on, and now some of Scottsdale’s most famous landmarks gained their glory because of how they relate to America’s favorite pastime. The Cactus League celebrates the sport and its history with the Cactus League Legacy Trail, a collection of exhibits and landmarks with strong ties to the history of baseball in the area. Many of these landmarks are very much a part of the league’s present life, which is obvious when you’re in town on a game day.

Head to Old Town in the morning to pre-game at the Scottsdale Historical Museum, where a free visit to Scottsdale’s first building shows you a snapshot of the town’s history, including an exhibit dedicated to baseball, with nostalgic and historic items from the sport’s early years in the area. Enjoy lunch and people watching at the Italian Grotto, a favorite of players over the decades with an impressive collection of memorabilia. A visit to the Sugar Bowl for a tasty dessert takes you to another baseball landmark, immortalized by the Family Circus comic strip.

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If you still have some energy after the game, head back to Old Town, where every block boasts several restaurants and bars that welcome the revelry of baseball fans. Be ready for a crowd, and have a drink and a meal at famed spots Karsen’s Grill or the Pink Pony Steakhouse, where you can talk baseball with fans and experts from across the country, and gaze at more memorabilia than you could imagine. Don & Charlie’s and the Coach House Tavern are other famed baseball spots that are worth a visit. Locals fill up spots like Old Town Tavern, Rehab Burger Therapy, Loco Patron and Bungalow Bar & Grill.

Regardless of who you cheer for, Scottsdale’s ideal spring weather and relaxed attitude make it the perfect destination for any baseball fan.

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