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Cactus League: Spring Training

By Tim Sheridan
February 28, 2012

I would like to bring a new book to your attention, Cactus League: Spring Training, part of the Arcadia Images of America series. The book was written by Susie Steckner and the Mesa Historical Museum. It showcases the rich history of the Cactus League in Arizona with over 200 photographs, many never-before-seen. The 128-page book, offers an insider’s look at the players, personalities, fans and destinations that helped shape the league and baseball in the Grand Canyon state.

A dozen photos from my collection are featured in the book. Most of them are historical photos that I have collected, with one that I shot at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson in 1992. I can tell you the Cubs are well represented in the book, with many vintage photos including Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Ron Santo, Harry Caray, and many more.  

Highlights of Cactus League: Spring Training include:

  • Unique, behind-the-scenes photographs of the Chicago Cubs, New York/San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers and more.
  • Images of two long-gone teams: the Seattle Pilots and the Houston Colt 45s.
  • Never-before-seen photographs of San Francisco greats Willie Mays and Juan Marichal.
  • An in-depth look at the famed Buckhorn Baths in Mesa.
  • Photographs of the Cactus League’s ten modern-day-stadiums.
A portion of all sales benefits the non-profit Mesa Historical Museum, which houses the nation’s only collection chronicling Arizona’s spring training journey. www.playballexperience.com

Author Susie Steckner will be signing copies of her new book throughout the spring season at these locations:

Glendale –  Camelback Ranch Spring Training Complex
Saturday, March 3 at the Fan Fest inside the ballpark. HOF Pitcher Gaylord Perry joins Steckner and signs your purchased book for an extra $10 donation to the Play Ball project. Perry appears from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Steckner appears from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Scottsdale –  Salt River Fields Spring Training Complex
Sunday, March 4 in the Centerfield Team Shop during the Arizona Diamondbacks – San Francisco Giants Cactus League game. Starting at 11:30 a.m.
Scottsdale –  Barnes & Noble
Wednesday, March 7 at the Barnes & Noble Book Store, Scottsdale Fiesta Shopping Center, 10500 N. 90th Street. Starting at 6:30 p.m.
Surprise –  Surprise Stadium Spring Training Complex
Sunday, March 11 in the Home Plate Team Shop during the Texas Rangers – Cleveland Indians Cactus League game. Starting at 11:30 a.m.
Surprise –  Sun City Grand Sports Interest Group
Thursday, March 15 at Sun City Grand, Sonoran Plaza, Sage Brush Room, 19753 N. Remington Drive, Surprise. Starting at 6:30 p.m.
Tempe – Changing Hands Bookstore
Monday, March 19 at Changing Hands Book Store, 6428 S. McClintock Drive starting at 7 p.m.
Mesa – Hohokam Stadium Spring Training Complex
Saturday, March 24 during the Chicago Cubs – San Diego Padres Cactus League game. 11 a.m.; exact location TBA
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