The spring roster with more baseball snapshots

by Bob Hoelscher 14. March 2011 19:33

Reds at Indians, Goodyear
A beautiful day for a baseball game

If you haven’t already done so, group leaders who live within the marketing area of each of the teams represented in the Cactus League should definitely consider planning a spring trip here during the next few years. Please keep in mind that you’ll not only have an opportunity to experience great baseball, but numerous other attractions that are also sure to appeal to your travelers. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed!

The Cactus League Roster – Spring, 2011

Arizona Diamondbacks (NL) and Colorado Rockies (NL) at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

Chicago Cubs (NL) at Hohokam Stadium, Mesa

Chicago White Sox (AL) and Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) at Glendale Camelback Ranch

Cincinnati Reds (NL) and Cleveland Indians (AL) at Goodyear Ballpark

Kansas City Royals (AL) and Texas Rangers (AL) at Surprise Stadium

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (AL) at Tempe Diablo Stadium

Milwaukee Brewers (NL) at Maryvale Baseball Park

Oakland Athletics (AL) at Phoenix Municipal Stadium

San Diego Padres (NL) and Seattle Mariners (AL) at Peoria Sports Complex

San Francisco Giants (NL) at Scottsdale Stadium


Dodgers at Angels, Tempe
Young fans enjoy collecting player autographs

Athletics at Angels, Tempe
The windup and the pitch

Reds at Indians, Goodyear
Outfield lawn seating, scoreboard and bullpens


Rooting for Arizona baseball

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks

by Bob Hoelscher 10. March 2011 01:23

My parents first took me to a St. Louis Cardinals game at old Sportsman’s Park way back in 1957, and I’ve been hooked on the sport ever since. So as a longtime, devoted fan, I’ll be staying for the first two weeks of the Cactus League season before heading on down the road. During that time, I’m planning to indulge my passion with 18 contests: 14 daytime affairs and four night games, so that I’ll get to see all 15 teams at least twice and visit each of the 10 Cactus League stadiums at least once.

Accompanying my notes are a collection of photographs from the first five of those games that I hope will give the reader a feel for the enjoyment, fan-friendly atmosphere and sheer fun of spring training baseball in Arizona.

Stadiums here are much smaller than their major league counterparts, most being in the 8,000 to 12,000-seat range. As a result, fans can get much closer to the action and their favorite stars, player autographs are far easier to come by, plus tickets are reasonably priced and readily available.

So far I’ve seen the 2010 National League and World Series Champion Giants defeat the Diamondbacks on Opening Day, February 25, the Angels top both the Dodgers and the Athletics, the Reds come back in late innings to edge their cross-state rival Indians, and the Mariners hold on to beat the 2010 American League Champion Rangers.

Reds at Indians, Goodyear
What's a ballpark frank without mustard?

Heading for second in a hurry

Indians mascot "Slider" with young fans


Rooting for Arizona baseball

Take me out to an Arizona ballgame

by Bob Hoelscher 9. March 2011 00:52

As reported last month, I’m spending most of the winter enjoying the glorious winter Arizona weather of Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun.” In addition to the many other things that attract countless “snowbirds” and other vacationers to the area, Cactus League Spring Training Baseball is a major draw for fans of America’s pastime.

When the “boys of summer” begin their annual series of exhibition games, we’re happily reminded that winter’s end and the start of the baseball season are now only about a month away.

With all due respect to my friends in Florida, who have plenty of their own attractions of which to be proud, I much prefer the Cactus League to that state’s geographically diverse Grapefruit League. First, the Arizona weather in late February and March is pretty much unbeatable: Lots of sunshine, little rain, low humidity and temperatures that range from pleasantly cool to comfortably warm. 

But just as important is that 15 teams (half of Major League Baseball) now train in the “Valley of the Sun,” which is within a 25-mile radius of downtown Phoenix.  Consequently, one need only book centrally located accommodations to be within easy driving distance of an outstanding schedule of games every day.

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”. 

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.

OPENING DAY: Diamonds at Giants, Scottsdale
Giants' Lincecum on the mound

Diamondbacks' Mora fouls one off

Your friendly beer vendor


Rooting for Arizona baseball

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