Baseball City spring training kick-off event free in Scottsdale

Baseball City is coming to Scottsdale. (File Photo)

Baseball City is coming to Scottsdale. (File Photo)

For the first time, Baseball City will be hosted in the heart of Scottsdale and provide free admission to all fans of the spring training kick-off event.

Baseball City is the largest and only fan fest around spring training, according to a press release.

Previously located at the Phoenix Convention Center, the event moved this year to the Scottsdale Civic Center and will be held from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 7-8..

“For the first time this year Baseball City will be located right in the middle of all the spring training action at the Civic Center, and right next door to the spring home of the San Francisco Giants, the 2014 World Series Champs,” Jennifer Parks, communications director for the event, wrote in an email.

This year marks another first for Baseball City; the first year event attendance is free.

“We want to make it more accessible to the public, so we’re pleased to be able to offer free public admission,” confirmed Mike Principe, CEO of The Legacy Agency, producers of Baseball City, in a phone interview.

The event will host famous names such as Hall of Fame Giant Orlando Cetteda, Cleveland Indian’s Michael Brantley, Chicago White Sox’ Melky Cabrera, and Milwaukee Brewers’ Wily Teralta, said Mr. Principe.

Baseball City gives fans an opportunity to meet baseball stars in autograph sessions and interactive clinics.

“Being able to meet a baseball legend, a Hall of Famer or current MLB player, is always a big draw for fans,” said Ms. Parks. “Whether they are learning new batting techniques, listening to stories or getting an autograph – that’s always one of the most popular aspects of the event.”

Interactive events include the ever-popular Home Run Derby, batting cages, and a pitching and hitting clinic, said Mr. Principe. In addition to baseball legend meet-and-greets, Baseball City will feature live entertainment and local bands, and food trucks and vendor options.

“It gives us an opportunity to really make this into a fun, two day festival,” he added.

Other events include speed pitch and steal home competitions, states the press release. Even children can also take a swing at the Lil’ Sluggers Field.

“We give a large amount of thought to what would be interesting to a baseball fan, and then we try to craft a program around that,” explained Mr. Principe.

The Science of Baseball, presented in partnership with the Arizona SciTech Festival, will give fans a chance to learn more about “the science behind the sport,” reads the press release. Hands-on programs include weighted bats and curveballs.

Ms. Walker is a freelance journalist under contract with the North Valley Office of Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA

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