By Jill “MamaBug” Frier
Our family loves to go to baseball games. One of the many great things about living in Arizona is that we can start the season early with baseball Spring Training season! The 2018 Cactus League begins their season on Friday, February 23, running runs through Tuesday, March 27. The league is made up of 15 Major League Baseball teams who play in 10 different baseball stadiums around Arizona. You can get a copy of the full Cactus League schedule on their website: www.cactusleague.com.
Fans can purchase tickets to games and find out more about specific team schedules through each team’s web page. Here is a list teams currently competing in the Cactus League and the stadiums where they play.
- Arizona Diamondbacks: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
- Chicago Cubs: Sloan Park, Mesa
- Chicago White Sox: Camelback Ranch, Glendale
- Cincinnati Reds: Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear
- Cleveland Indians: Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear
- Colorado Rockies: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
- Kansas City Royals: Surprise Stadium, Surprise
- Los Angeles Angels: Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe
- Los Angeles Dodgers: Camelback Ranch, Glendale
- Milwaukee Brewers: Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix
- Oakland Athletics: Hohokam Stadium, Mesa
- San Diego Padres: Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria
- San Francisco Giants: Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale
- Seattle Mariners: Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria
- Texas Rangers: Surprise Stadium, Surprise
A Fun, Kid-Friendly Sport
Baseball is a very kid-friendly sport and the Spring Training games are no exception. With our fantastic Phoenix spring weather, getting the kids out of the house and into the sunshine is a great reason to attend a game. Tickets are very modestly priced, much less than the cost of attending a regular season game. Also outfield stadium and lawn seating is available – a great option for little ones who want to get up and move around.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Because the games take place during the day and in outdoor stadiums, be sure to bring sunscreen, water and a hat! Prepare ahead for meals and snacks. There are vendors in the stadium, but check the schedule and the stadium website to see what they have available at the game you plan to attend. Also check out maps for the stadium to make sure you park in the right spots. Like any major event, parking lots and stadiums are crowded places, so plan ahead to minimize chaos and set your expectations about how long driving, parking, and lines will take.
See the Players Up Close
Another great reason to catch a Cactus League game is that the stadiums are smaller, which means your can see the action and the players up close! Players take time to sign autographs for kids, chat with fans and get their photos taken. Attending spring training games is a great way to learn about the players, teams and the sport of baseball in general. Take time to teach your kids about the sport. The rules, scoring and play are great lessons in math and science, while having a great time learning.
George Will mused, “Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.” Well, baseball is a game, but a fantastic game for the whole family to enjoy and watch. We at Ladybug’s Blog happen to think very highly of the Grand Canyon, too. Games are all about having fun, so make your trip to a Cactus League spring training baseball game a fun adventure, and a lifelong memory for your whole family.
Be sure to check out Ladybug’s Blog for more fun things to do outside with kids everywhere in Arizona!