Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Training: Play Ball!

March has arrived, which means one thing: Spring Training!

Fifteen clubs flock to Arizona for this time-honored annual event, and with them, come baseball fans from across the country.

Restaurants, hotels, car rental companies and other merchants cheer the arrival of the teams, their fans, and visiting journalists. If you're in the service industry in Arizona, March is like Christmas.

This year, the Cactus League welcomes a new arrival - the Cincinnati Reds.

Until now, the Reds had been a member of the Grapefruit League, setting up camp in Florida each year.

But now they're sharing the new complex in Goodyear with their cross-state rival, the Cleveland Indians.

The Indians were one of the original clubs to begin play in Arizona. In 1946, they, along with the New York Giants, were the first teams to move west.

Cleveland began play that year in Tucson at Hi Corbett Field. In 1993, they departed for the Grapefruit League, but last year returned to Arizona, to the then brand-new Goodyear Ballpark.

With the arrival of the Reds, the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues are now evenly split - 15 teams a piece.

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