How spring training created the Cactus League in Arizona


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By azcentral podcasts and The Arizona Republic. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

As a lifelong Valley resident, I would often drive by the spring training stadiums for the Chicago Cubs or the Los Angeles Angels. I always wondered why we had outside teams playing in the Arizona.

The reason dates back to the 1940s before the state even had its own Major League Baseball team. Arizona's relationship to Americans' favorite pastime started with a coalition of baseball teams that would eventually become known as the Cactus League.

This week on Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, I look into the history of that league, while answering my own question, "Why is Arizona home to the Cactus League?"

In this episode, you'll hear:

  • How the Cactus League got its beginning in Arizona.
  • How the league planted the seed of integrating the city in the 1940s.
  • The economic impact spring training has in the Valley.

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