7196
Phoenix
Chicago Cubs: Arizona Spring Training Baseball
Watch the Chicago Cubs prepare for the upcoming season during Spring Training at their new baseball complex in Mesa, Arizona. Meet baseball historians, writers, former players and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 7196RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,199
Special Offer
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6 days
5 nights
10 meals
5 B 0 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Program Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Tempe, AZ
D
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix / Tempe / ASU

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, and between 4:30-5:15 p.m., come to the Road Scholar desk located adjacent to the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: We will gather in our private meeting room at 5:30 p.m. where the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. The Spring Training schedule of games is not finalized until December and so the schedule that follows is tentative and a representative outline. Guest speakers and the times of games are likely to change. In the unlikely event that a game is rained out, an alternative activity will be provided (no refunds). Free time is limited and unscheduled at this time. We suggest that those who wish to explore the area in greater depth arrive early or stay on after the program. Please contact the hotel directly if you wish to make additional arrangements. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, meals are typically buffet service with a rotating variety of choices and beverages including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Sports Writer, Game 1
Tempe, AZ
B,D
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix / Tempe / ASU

Activity note: We will transfer to the stadium after the morning lecture. Please bring everything you wish to take with you to the lecture.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs and omelettes cooked to order, bacon, oatmeal, fruit, toast, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Throughout the program, we’ll meet wonderful baseball personalities who have intimate and often long histories with the game. Sports writer Charlie Vascellaro will join us and provide unique perspectives on baseball history and personalities. In addition to his lifelong love of baseball, Charlie is a bibliophile, historian, raconteur, traveler, and author of a biography on Hank Aaron. Charlie took part in his first Road Scholar program in 2004 and has been a regular guest ever since, delighting our folks with Spring Training chronicles. Following our presentation, we’ll transfer to the stadium for our first game.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like at the ballpark. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Game 1! We’ll enjoy our first game of the week as the Cubs prepare to defend their World Series Championship! Our program was planned far in advance when details of games were not available. The information will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment. The Cactus League was launched in 1946. There are now 15 teams that practice and play in a relatively tight radius surrounding Phoenix, Arizona. From MLB.com: “It is here where the ballparks are surrounded by mesas, rock formations and cacti. It is here where stars stretch and hit and throw and play games in the laid-back atmosphere of Minor League-sized parks with beautiful, warm and frequently sunny backdrops.” After the game we’ll transfer back to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: Rodney Johnson is the official scorer for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is the President of the Arizona Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Rodney has also served as an expert witness for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the field of sports memorabilia and has written numerous published articles on baseball and baseball history. A baseball trivia fanatic, Rodney’s stories and insights are enthralling.

DAY
3
Baseball Historian, Game 2
Tempe, AZ
B,D
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix / Tempe / ASU

Activity note: We will transfer to the stadium after the morning lecture. Please bring everything you wish to take with you to the lecture.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll have a presentation by Jerry Kindall, a baseball "lifer" with 56 consecutive years in the game beginning as a College All American, through eight years as a major league infielder with the Cubs, Indians, and Twins, and 30 years as a college coach including three NCAA College World Series Championships. Jerry is a baseball historian who will discuss the history, legends, and charm of the game. Following our presentation, we’ll transfer to the stadium for our second game.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the ballpark.

Afternoon: Game 2! The information will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment. Spring training has been a fact of MLB life since 1886! It was “invented” by the Chicago White Stockings (now the Cubs) who held their spring training in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Many other teams followed suit, attracted not only by warmer weather but also the idea that healing waters could help players. The move to Arizona in 1946 was also related to a local hot spring.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Chase Stadium, Game 3
Tempe, AZ
B,D
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix / Tempe / ASU

Activity note: Walking about 1 mile at stadium; some stairs (can be avoided if need be).

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll go for a special private field trip to explore the Arizona Diamondbacks Chase Stadium. We’ll see the dugout, locker room, and museum. Built in 1998, Chase field is a technological marvel with its retractable roof and 1,300,000 square feet of space. As we go behind the scenes, we’ll see where players, managers, and reporters go about their business.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the ballpark.

Afternoon: Game 3! The information will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: Tonight's presentation will be by Jacob Pomrenke, Director of Editorial Content for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). He is the editor of “Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox” as well as numerous articles on the games early 20th century corruption scandals. Jacob will discuss and reveal the little known corruption related to the New York Giants in the era from 1902-1032 when manager John McGraw led them to 10 national league pennants and 3 World Series championships.

DAY
5
AZ Diamondbacks Organist, Game 4
Tempe, AZ
B,D
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix / Tempe / ASU

Activity note: We will transfer to the stadium after the morning lecture. Please bring everything you wish to take with you to the lecture.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: At the hotel, we’ll be joined by Bobby Freeman, longtime organist for the Arizona Diamondbacks. We’ll enjoy a performance and sing-a-long of some ballpark classics and laugh as Bobby shares his personal story and favorite moments. When the Diamondbacks rallied to take the 2001 World Series from the Yankees in seven games, could it be that Bobby was the catalyst?

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like at the ballpark.

Afternoon: Game 4! The information will be posted on our website when available and included in preparatory materials sent following enrollment. When the Cactus League was formed following World War II, profound changes were taking place throughout the U.S. Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Bill Veeck, Cleveland Indians owner, were among the prime movers in promoting the idea of recruiting black athletes into Major League Baseball. It was a matter of strengthening the bench, widening the fan market, and simple morality. Commissioner Albert "Happy" Chandler, a former Kentucky governor and senator, said, "If they (Negroes) can fight and die on Okinawa, Guadalcanal, in the South Pacific, hell, they can play baseball in America." As it turned out, the Cactus League offered a more accepting climate than that which Jackie Robinson initially encountered in the Grapefruit League. The rest, as they say, is history.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure following our closing session in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Departures
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll have a wrap-up session and say goodbyes, ending by approximately 9:30 a.m. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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