Football season is over. On this lazy afternoon, I watch the cold, blurry white winter storms increasing across the rest of our country. Yes, this is the time of the year I start daydreaming. When I have this double duo distraction of baseball games while searching for local stories on my trips, I drift away completely on cloud nine. It is starting... San Francisco Giants spring training camp.
I came across this article today about the San Francisco Giants which makes me even more eager to go Arizona. I miss baseball.
I don’t know about the rest of you, I love to go to a region where I find a superb mix of activities; hanging out with other baseball fanatics on a sunny afternoon watching exhibition games, hiking (or with me, slower morning walks now), swimming, spas, art and culture, shopping, unusual architecture, and eating.
Cowboys and upscale city life combined – it is time for those of us in the northern states to pack our bags and head south. I like to pretend I am a baseball scout and talk with players on my favorite teams about what they are doing to prepare for the regular season.
Don’t be surprised to find out you aren’t the only one going to spring training. The Cactus League website says, “Visitor attendance has increased every year.” You might want to call in advance and make a few reservations this year.
History of Baseball Spring Training
History of Baseball Spring Training
Official Spring Training Season started in the early 1900s. Some people say it was as early as the late 1800s. I won't go into the details here, as you will find an excellent article outlining spring training history by Rodney Johnson, From Dust to Diamonds: The Evolution of the Cactus League, (c) 2012 - Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Origins of Spring Training, on the Arizona Cactus League website.
People have taken this break opportunity as long as we remember for the sun, fun, and ball games. I am drawn into reading local stories of well known baseball icons like Ted Williams and Bob Fuller who spent their spring training heydays at the modernized mid-century hotel property of Hotel Valley Ho.
San Francisco Giants and Spring Training
The San Francisco Giants, a part of the Cactus League, hold their spring training camp in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you haven’t participated in spring training events, you should. I like to carry my camera and iPhone with me at all times as you never know when you will bump into favorite players in local business shops and restaurants after watching them at the exhibition games.
Spring training tickets are affordable. Check in advance with the game schedules. Add an extra fun day trip to see your favorite team play in 8 different cities across Arizona.
Other Local Arizona Attractions
I was quick to discover many other things to do around this region on my last trip. I don’t really follow architecture, I became spellbound with Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, Taliesin West tour as I listened to the well delivered docent stories. And, you don’t have to be athletic to go on local jeep tours in the desert.
There are multiple desert hiking trails to start the day with. I enjoy going for a s-l-o-w morning walk in the morning sunshine – be sure to keep water with you all of the time. I must say the Arizona culinary scene is incredible. Yes, I have to exercise everyday to get ready for my evening dinner tasting.
|Image courtesy of Scottsdale CVB|
My Insider Information tips:
My favorite hotel – Firesky Resort & Spa, with their open lobby is very affordable and within walking distance of old town Scottsdale, and stop by their restaurant for any meal, Taggia . A fabulous ~ 5 Stars to the friendly hello's you receive from all employees, everyday.
My favorite restaurant – I love to eat original Stetson Chopped Salad at Cowboy Ciao, and was an instant fan when I found out they served my favorite Ridge Bordeaux blend from the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Oh yeah, now back to my baseball spring training story..... batter up! 1 - 2 - 3 and you are out at the ol' ball game (grins)
The Fun Tour Guru Strays off the beaten path to Arizona with Baseball Spring Training.
Trivia quiz: Can you tell me what is no longer true in the Giants Baseball Stadium in the first picture?