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Cactus League Overview

Arizona had been one of many sites of turn-of-the-century barnstorming tours, but the origin of the Cactus League dates back only to 1946, when Indians owner Bill Veeck convinced New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham to join him in Arizona.



Depending on what you read, Veeck was looking for a more hospitable environment for Larry Doby (the AL's first African-American player) or a spring site closer to his Tucson ranch.



In 1951, the Yankees and Giants swapped sites for one season, allowing Arizona fans to get a first look at Mickey Mantle (and a last look at Joe DiMaggio). The Cubs arrived in 1952, followed by the Orioles in 1954 and the Cactus League was officially born, sealed with the first Cactus League series (Giants/Indians) that fall.



In the half-century since, the League has slowly grown, most recently increasing to 12 teams when the Royals and Rangers migrated West from Florida to share a new facility in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise.



Shared facilities are in vogue at the Cactus League; others exist in Tucson (White Sox, Diamondbacks) and Peoria (Mariners, Padres).



See below for information on each of the Cactus facilities. Action began on Mar. 1 and concludes on April 1.

• Spring training schedule
• Cactus League sample itineraries: four games in four days

• Official Web Site: http://www.cactusleague.com/







Arizona Diamondbacks

Tucson (since 1998)
Schedule



Home Field

Tucson Electric Park (11,500)

2500 E. Ajo Way

Tucson, AZ 85713

520-434-1367



Directions (from Tucson)

Take I-10 East to the Kino Parkway North Exit.

Once on Kino Parkway, take a right at the first light, to Ajo Way.

Turn left on Ajo, follow to Forgeus St., turn right into Tucson Electric Park.



Tickets

Price range: $4-16

Online or 866-672-1343



Did You Know?

The team's clubhouse at Tucson Electric Park occupies more than twice the square footage than their digs at Chase Field.



Chicago Cubs

Mesa (since 1979)
Schedule



Home Field

HoHoKam Stadium (12,575)

1235 N. Center

Mesa, AZ 85201

480-964-4467

Directions (from Phoenix)

Take 202 Loop east to Exit 12 (McKellips Road).

Turn right on W. McKellips Road.

Turn right onto N. Center Street.



Tickets

Price range: $5-20

Online or 800-905-3315



Did You Know?

An economic study in 2004 reported that Cubs fans deposit about $20 million annually into Mesa's economy during their spring (well, it's still winter in Chicago!) pilgrimages.



Chicago White Sox

Tucson (since 1998)
Schedule



Home Field

Tucson Electric Park (11,500)

2500 E. Ajo Way

Tucson, AZ 85713

520-434-1367



Directions (from Tucson)

Take I-10 East to the Kino Pkwy North Exit.

Once on Kino Parkway, take a right at the first light to Ajo Way.

Turn left on Ajo, follow to Forgeus St., turn right into Tucson Electric Park



Tickets

Price range: $4-16

Online or 866-672-1343



Did You Know?

The White Sox are relative newbies to the Cactus League, arriving in conjunction with the completion of Tucson Electric Park prior to the 1998 season. From 1960-97, the Sox made their spring home in Sarasota, Fla.



Colorado Rockies

Tucson (since 1993)
Schedule



Home Field

Hi Corbett Field (8,665)

3400 E. Camino Campestre

Tucson, AZ 85716

520-327-9467



Directions (from I-10)

Exit at Broadway, head east.

Turn right on Randolph Way.

Hi Corbett is located on the right-hand side.



Tickets

Price range: $2-13

Online or 800-388-ROCK



Did You Know?

Hi Corbett Field was constructed in the late 1920s, and was the spring training home of the Cleveland Indians from 1945-92. It was dubbed Hi Corbett Field in 1951, in honor of the state senator instrumental in bringing the Indians to town.



Kansas City Royals

Surprise, AZ (since 2003)
Schedule



Home Field

Surprise Stadium (10,400)

15850 N. Bullard

Surprise, AZ 85374

623-594-5600



Directions (from Phoenix)

Take I-10 west to Hwy. 101 North.

Take the Grand Avenue or Bell Road exits and head west.

You'll pass through Sun City before you reach Surprise; follow the signs to the ballpark.



Tickets

Price range: $6-17

Online or 480-784-4444



Did You Know?

The Royals (with Texas) are the newest entry to the Cactus League, having spent the majority of their spring days in Fort Myers (1969-87) and Baseball City (1988-2002), Fla.



Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Tempe (since 1993)
Schedule



Home Field

Tempe Diablo Stadium (9,785)

2200 W. Alameda Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85282

480-350-5205



Directions (from Phoenix)

Take Broadway Street exit off I-10.

Travel west on Broadway to 48th Street; turn left.

Tempe Diablo Stadium is 1/2 mile on the left.



Tickets

Price range: $5-22

Online or 480-784-4444



Did You Know?

The Angels made their spring training home in Palm Springs, California, before signing a 25-year lease -- which included a $5.8 million renovation -- with the city of Tempe in 1991. Tempe Diablo Stadium previously housed the Pilots/Brewers (1970-76) and the Mariners (1977-92).



Milwaukee Brewers

Phoenix (since 1998)
Schedule



Home Field

Maryvale Baseball Park (10,000)

3600 N. 51st Ave.

Phoenix, AZ 85031

623-245-5500



Directions (from Phoenix)

Take I-10 West to 51st Ave. North exit. Turn right.
Enter stadium parking lot on 51st Ave. between Thomas Rd. and Indian School Rd.



Tickets

Price range: $6-17

Online or 800-933-7890



Did You Know?

Since the team's inception as the Seattle Pilots, the Brewers have made their spring home in Arizona, jumping from from Tempe (1969-72) to Sun City (1973-85) to Chandler (1986-97) before moving to Phoenix in 1998.



Oakland Athletics

Phoenix (since 1979)
Schedule

Home Field

Phoenix Municipal Stadium (8,816)

5999 E. Van Buren

Phoenix, AZ 85008

602-392-0074



Directions (from downtown Phoenix)

Head east on I-10.
Take Hwy 202 to Priest Exit.

Go north on Priest.

Phoenix Municipal Stadium will be approximately one mile up from the highway.



Tickets

Price range: $8-22

Online or 877-493-2255



Did You Know?

Municipal Stadium was the site of the first spring training home run hit by Willie Mays. The stadium's foul poles were originally used at the Polo Grounds in New York.



San Diego Padres

Peoria (since 1994)
Schedule



Home Field

Peoria Sports Complex (10,133)

16101 N. 83rd Ave.

Peoria, AZ 85382

800-409-1511



Directions (from I-10)

Take 99th Avenue Exit, go north.

99th Avenue turns into Loop 101.

Take the Bell Road Exit, go east to 83rd Avenue.

Go south one block to stadium.



Tickets

Price range: $6-20

Online or 480-784-4444



Did You Know?

In 1994, the Peoria Sports Complex became the first facility shared by two franchises. Prior to its completion, the Padres trained in Yuma, Ariz.



San Francisco Giants

Scottsdale (since 1984)
Schedule



Home Field

Scottsdale Stadium (10,500)

7408 East Osborn Rd.

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-990-7972



Directions (from Phoenix)

Take I-10 East to Hwy 202 (Exit 147a).

Follow 202 to Exit 3 (Washington St.).

Follow signs to McDowell Rd. East.

Follow McDowell about three miles to N. Scottsdale Rd.

Left on Scottsdale to E. Drinkwater Blvd. Turn right.



Tickets

Price range: $8-25

Online or 800-225-2277



Did You Know?

The original Scottsdale Stadium, built in 1956, served as the former Cactus League home of the Orioles, Red Sox, Cubs, A's and Giants.



Seattle Mariners

Peoria (since 1994)
Schedule



Home Field

Peoria Sports Complex (10,133)

16101 N. 83rd Ave.

Peoria, AZ 85382

800-409-1511



Directions (from I-10)

Take 99th Avenue Exit, go north.

99th Avenue turns into Loop 101.

Take the Bell Road Exit, go east to 83rd Avenue.

Go south one block to stadium.



Tickets

Price range: $6-20

Online or 480-784-4444



Did You Know?

Before joining the San Diego Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, the Mariners trained in Tempe, current home of the Angels.



Texas Rangers

Surprise, AZ (since 2003)
Schedule



Home Field

Surprise Stadium (10,400)

15850 N. Bullard

Surprise, AZ 85374

623-594-5600



Directions (from Phoenix)

Take I-10 west to Hwy. 101 North.

Take the Grand Avenue or Bell Road exits and head west.

You'll pass through Sun City before you reach Surprise; follow the signs to the ballpark.



Tickets

Price range: $6-17

Online or 800-326-4000



Did You Know?

The Rangers (with Kansas City) are the newest entry to the Cactus League, having spent the majority of their spring days in Florida at Pompano Beach (1961-86) and Port Charlotte (1987-2002).

Bill Evans is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee.