Phillips: Getting the most out of the Cactus League

From Mike Phillips at the Arizona Republic on February 22, 2015, with mention of SABR Executive Director Marc Appleman:

Tombstone has the OK Corral. Golden, Colo., has Coors Beer. Scottsdale has spring training baseball.

Five Major League teams have trained in Scottsdale. The Orioles were the original tenant in 1956. The Red Sox moved in four years later with some of the most talented and controversial characters to ever play the game.

Ty Cobb, the rough-edged and irascible “Georgia Peach” was a Red Sox advisor. Outfielder Ted Williams was entering the twilight of a Hall of Fame career. Both would begin their days with breakfast at the Pink Pony restaurant, a few minutes’ walk from Scottsdale Stadium.

After practice, they’d hang around the dugout talking batting with a rookie named Carl Yastrzemski, a future triple-crown winner.

It is doubtful three hitters of greater prominence ever spent a spring — or a round of beers — together.


The Society for American Baseball Research — the “Moneyball” people — scoured the nation a few years back looking for a new home. They settled in Phoenix.

“Arizona and particularly the Phoenix area has become the capital of the baseball world,” said SABR Executive Director Marc Appleman. “The Diamondbacks, 15 spring training teams, the Arizona Fall League … It has turned out to be a great location for SABR.”

On March 12-14, SABR will host its fourth annual Analytics Conference in Phoenix. The fast-growing event attracts fans, MLB executives and the top minds of the baseball analytic community.

A few days earlier, on March 7-8, a combination fan fest and merchandise show called Baseball City will take place on Scottsdale’s Civic Center Mall. It’s the brainchild of The Legacy Agency, a sports representation and marketing firm that believes its event can grow into a national celebration.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 23, 2015. Last Updated: February 23, 2015.