November 16, 2006
Spring Training in Arizona is always a lot of fun. The stadiums are much smaller than a Major League Baseball venue and the stands are much closer to the playing field. Nearly all of the games are afternoon contests so the crowds are generally laid back and relaxed. It is not usually too hot so it’s a great chance to get a tan and catch some baseball. Not long ago, everyone wondered whether spring training would continue in Arizona. Many of the facilities were old and dated and teams were looking for more state-of-the-art complexes that would house the major league and minor league players. Teams were leaving Arizona heading for new spring training headquarters in the Grapefruit League in Florida. Forward thinking civic leaders in the various Arizona municipalities along with state officials developed a plan to try and save what remaining teams were left training in Arizona. They began to remodel existing complexes and build brand new ones. With each field came new hope as teams began migrating back from Florida to Arizona. Recently the Cleveland Indians became yet another team to choose the Cactus League. A new stadium and training facility is being built in Goodyear on the west side of Phoenix for the Indians to train in. Cleveland was a long time Arizona based ball club but headed to Florida to greener pastures only to find that the facilities and proximity to other teams in Arizona was much better for them so now they will be back in 2009. Today marks another milestone in Cactus League history.