Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

March 19, 2009

Host: Ted Simons

Cactus League Exhibit

  • Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry makes a pitch for the Mesa Historical Museum's new cactus league exhibit - "Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience." http://playballexperience.com
  • Gaylord Perry - Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher
Keywords: baseball, spring training, cactus league,

View Transcript
Ted Simons
>> want to take a walk through Arizona’s rich Cactus League history? all you have to do is visit the Mesa historical museum.

David Majure
>>for $20, hall of fame pitcher Gaylord Perry was signing autographs for fans of all ages. raising money for the Mesa historical museum's new exhibit, Play Ball, the Cactus League experience.

David Majure
>>the exhibit opened in January. visitors can peek through knot holes to see the evolution of Arizona’s spring training ballparks. they can wander among photographs and memorabilia that trace the history of Arizona’s cactus league. history Gaylord Perry was a part of.

Gaylord Perry
>> the first ballpark I played in was the old ballpark in Phoenix, next to the stockyards. i had about 19 seasons. i played 22 in the big legion and 19 was spring training in Arizona. you got to play every day because the weather was so great. you didn't have rainouts.

David Majure
>> while some players don't care much for spring training, Perry always made the best of it.

Gaylord Perry
>> some people say it was a unnecessary evil, but it was necessary. if you are going to be ready for opening day, you have to go through six weeks of spring training.

David Majure
>> but it's one week that left a lasting impression. each year Perry and a handful of other San Francisco Giants were invited to spent week before spring training at Buck Horn Baths in Mesa.

Gaylord Perry
>> it was just a pleasant memory for me. working -- you didn't have no field to work on, you just threw catch in the parking lot and went and got your hot mineral bath, and massage. boy, that was great. I’ve got pictures of when we came here to Mesa to Buck Horn Baths and the spring training in Phoenix. and also over in Tucson. we also went to Yuma, Arizona, too. Oh my, my. that's when things got bad. There was nothing there in Tucson .

David Majure
>> spring training in Arizona has changed a lot since then.

Gaylord Perry
>> the Cactus League just got bigger and bigger.

David Majure
>> bigger and better. that's the game plan for the Cactus League exhibit.
Lisa Anderson
>> the exhibit is a work in progress. we do plan to open another phase within the next year.

David Majure
>> the long-term goal is a standalone Cactus League history museum. a must-see destination for baseball fans everywhere.

Lisa Anderson
>> kind of like a Cooperstown west for Arizona.

David Majure
>> the two-time award winner, notorious for throwing the spitball did his part to help out. by sharing some laughs and memories with fans, and sharing photos and items from his personal collection with the museum.

Lisa Anderson
>> almost weekly we're getting objects, and people calling us up with memories, or photographs, and I really believe that quite a bit of Cactus League memorabilia is here in Arizona.

David Majure
>> so check your attic. clean out your closet and tell the museum about any treasures you find by visiting its website, playballexperience.com.

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