Great teams, exceptional players and unforgettable memories – Scottsdale’s rich history of baseball comes to life in a free exhibit launching Jan. 18 at the Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Scottsdale Road.
Five Major League teams have trained in Scottsdale, as have dozens of Hall of Fame players. Celebrate their stories at an exhibit that’s just a short stroll from Scottsdale Stadium.
This year’s exhibit, presented by the Arizona Spring Training Experience, also features the 2017 inductees into the Cactus League Hall of Fame.
Willie Mays, Larry Doby, Monte Irvin and Ernie Banks were not only unique talents, they also helped change the face of sport by breaking baseball’s color barrier in the 1940s and ‘50s.
The library exhibit commemorates their achievements and their rise to star players who helped establish the Cactus League and modern Major League Baseball.
The Scottsdale Historical Museum is also hosting a Cactus League exhibit this spring. The museum, located at 7333 E. Scottsdale Mall, features free admission and is also a short walk from Scottsdale Stadium.
Both exhibits are part of the Cactus League Legacy Trail, a self-guided tour that provides fans with an intimate look at the history, hangouts and characters that make spring training one of the most cherished traditions of American baseball.
Stops along the Legacy Trail also include:
- Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 E. Osborn Road, Scottsdale. The spring home of the San Francisco Giants is the Cactus League’s only stadium located in a downtown setting. It’s also home to the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame and the Scottsdale Sports Hall of Fame.
- Salt River Fields, 7555 N. Pima Road, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. Home to both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, Salt River Fields is the only spring training complex located on Native American land. Visitors can experience the rich culture of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community through a Stewardship Trail and History Trail.
- Don and Charlie’s restaurant, 7501 E. Camelback Road. With walls brimming with jerseys, shoes and autographs, plus a display case filled with baseballs signed by Hall of Famers, Don and Charlie’s is a museum in its own right.
- The Sugar Bowl restaurant, 4005 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Rookie ballplayers have been stopping by the Sugar Bowl for a “double frosted” ice cream treat since the 1950s. Bil Keane immortalized the Sugar Bowl in his “Family Circus” cartoons – many of which adorn the restaurant’s walls.
- Coach House tavern, 7011 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale. This rustic landmark remains almost unchanged from the 1950s when cowboys tied up at the hitching post and the Boston Red Sox were Scottsdale’s spring training home team.
- The Italian Grotto, 3915 N Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Another player’s favorite located just a short walk from Scottsdale Stadium, the Italian Grotto’s memorabilia collection reflects Scottsdale’s deep ties to the Cactus League.
- Karsen’s Grill, 7246 E. First St, Scottsdale. This unassuming bar and grill has become a gathering spot for Cactus League sportswriters and umpires … and fans seeking the latest scoop on their favorite teams.
- The Arizona Spring Training Experience exhibit at the Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, Goodyear. The Goodyear Ballpark is spring home to the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians. This exhibit focuses on the Indians’ deep Arizona roots as one of the three original Cactus League teams.