The Boys of Summer are back this spring at Scottsdale Stadium

A jersey, cap and pin form the 1962 Houston Colt 45s was part of the 2018 baseball exhibit at the Civic Center Library. (Photo credit: city of Scottsdale)

Spring training in Scottsdale is under way with the San Francisco Giants in camp and a free baseball memorabilia exhibit open at the Civic Center Library.

The Giants begin their home spring schedule Feb. 23 with a game against the Milwaukee Brewers. Tickets for all Giants home games are available at the Scottsdale Stadium box office, by calling 1-877-473-4849 or at SFGiants.com.

Fans who want to soak up the Cactus League atmosphere don’t need to wait for the first pitch. The Civic Center Library exhibit features memorabilia from many of the five Major League teams that have called Scottsdale their spring home since 1956, plus other rare baseball artifacts.

Cactus League President Jeff Meyer, left, tours the baseball exhibit at the Civic Center Library with Tim Sheridan, director of the Arizona Spring Training Experience and Cactus League Hall of Fame. (Photo credit: city of Scottsdale”

Those include a jersey, cap and pin from the inaugural 1962 Houston Colt 45s, a team that trained in Apache Junction for two seasons before relocating to Florida. The Colt 45s were later renamed the Houston Astros — and captured their first World Series title last October.

The library is at 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd. — a few minutes’ walk north of Scottsdale Stadium. Its exhibit also includes memorabilia and biographies of members in the Cactus League Hall of Fame.

The 2018 Hall of Fame class will be inducted during the annual Cactus League Luncheon Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort. For luncheon tickets and more information, visit CactusLeague.com

This year’s inductees are:

  • MLB Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, a star player with the Reds and Orioles and the Major League’s first African American manager
  • MLB Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, who pitched 22 years in the Majors, including 10 with the Giants.
  • Bob Uecker, a former player who has served as the Brewers radio announcer since 1971. Mr. Uecker is also a popular comedic actor who has appeared in films and commercials.
  • Yosh Kawano, who spent 65 years with the Chicago Cubs as the team’s clubhouse assistant and manager. Mr. Kawano began playing baseball in Japanese internment camps during World War II.
  • Vendor Derrick Moore, a.k.a. the “Lemonade Man,” who began hawking beverages at Scottsdale Stadium in the 1980s and was named by fans in 2015 as the top vendor in the Major Leagues.

“The Cactus League Hall of Fame is more than just players,” said Tim Sheridan, director of the Arizona Spring Training Experience and Cactus League Hall of Fame. “It is about recognizing those individuals who have grown and supported the Cactus League and have created great memories for fans.”

Mr. Sheridan’s organization is expanding that recognition March 13 in a special presentation at the Civic Center Library on Japanese American baseball.

A free screening of the 2007 feature film “American Pastime” will take place at 5 p.m. in the library’s auditorium. The film provides an intimate look into the lives of Japanese Americans detained at internment camps during WW II and the significance of baseball in Japanese American culture.

The March 13 screening will be introduced and followed by a questions-and-answer session with “American Pastime” producer Kerry Yo Nakagawa, founding curator of “Diamonds in the Rough” an international touring exhibit on Japanese-American baseball.

Mr. Nakagawa is also the author of “Through A Diamond, 100 Years of Japanese American Baseball” and “The History of Japanese American Baseball in California.”
Author Bill Staples, “The Legacy of Japanese American Baseball” will also be participating in the post-film discussion.

Those looking for a little physical challenge to complement their baseball experience will find the perfect mix at the March 3 Giant Race that begins and ends at Scottsdale Stadium.

The race begins at 7 a.m. and features both 10K and 5K distances. The races tour scenic Scottsdale before finishing on the stadium’s field. All finishers receive a technical shirt and medal. For more details or to register, visit race-sfgiants.com.

Fans who want to enjoy baseball history and lore at a more leisurely pace will find it along the Cactus League Legacy Trail. The trail is a self-guided tour of venues, businesses, displays and exhibits tied to spring training and Arizona baseball.

Many of those spots are in Old Town Scottsdale, which has hosted five different MLB teams for spring training since original Scottsdale Stadium opened in 1956.

Go to azspringtrainingexperience.com.

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