MLB: 2014 AZ Fall League
Who said that live baseball is over and that you have to wait over four months for the Cactus League to start to see a baseball game? What do the names David Wright, Albert Pujols, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Howard and the recently retried Derek Jeter, to name a few have in common? They all have played in the Arizona Fall League. Yes you can see live baseball games in October and November. For your live baseball “fix”, consider attending an Arizona Fall League baseball game.
The Arizona Fall League is an off-season league owned and operated by MLB. The teams include Glendale Desert Dogs, Mesa Solar Sox, Peoria Javelinas, Salt River Rafters, Scottsdale Scorpions and the Surprise Saguaros. If you notice the team names reveal the Southwestern Desert traditions in this great state of Arizona.
The teams are divided into two divisions and each MLB team sends six of their top prospects to the Arizona Fall League, with over 200 players in all. Games are played at the Spring Training sites you attend every spring and are all are first-class facilities. The playing surfaces are outstanding, and the seating and concession areas are always fan friendly. Another advantage for the Arizona Fall League is that all the stadiums are within a short driving distance of each other and the weather is always pleasant for a game.
The Arizona Fall League started in 1992 when the MLB wanted to create an offseason league in the USA. There was a concern that some of the best minor league players were leaving the country to play winter ball and there was no way to oversee their progress. When MLB decided to create the league, they said it would be organized and run by MLB rules and regulations. For example if a player is injured, proper care and treatment would be on hand at the stadium. Also the league managers, coaches, scouts and league officials could all participate.
The Arizona Fall League has been looked upon by the baseball world as the “advanced league” for the MLB’s top prospects. It has seen over 1,200 players who have played in their league reach the majors. Additionally, eighteen former Arizona Fall League Managers have gone on to manage a major League club at some point. There is even an Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame. To qualify for that honor, a player must have achieved recognition at the MLB level as a Rookie of the Year, a league MVP, an All-Star or a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger Award winner.
How good are the players in the Arizona Fall League? The 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field in MN featured 36 AZ Fall League players. Overall the league has had 212 All-Stars, 12 MVPs, four Cy Young Award Winners, three World Series MVPs, 66 Silver Sluggers, 58 Golden Gloves, and 25 Rookies of the Year.
A day game normally starts at 12:35PM and a night game starts at 6:35PM (unless noted). There are no Sunday games and there is a “Fall-Stars” game. That game is set for November 1st and is usually carried live on the MLB channel from Salt River Fields. The Championship game is set for Saturday November 15th and also is scheduled to be seen live on the MLB channel. That will be at Scottsdale Stadium.
Prices are very affordable: $8 for an adult and $6 for kids (3-17) and seniors (55+), and you can sit anywhere you want. Group tickets for 20 or more are available for just $4 apiece. They do offer individual season passes ($75 for seniors, $85 for adults) and a family pass (for up to six people, $115). That means you can go to as many games as you’d like during the season.
So if you need to see live baseball come on down and watch a game starting Tuesday October 7th and I hope to see you at an Arizona Fall League Ballpark.
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