Spring training is when players shed the winter rust by limbering up on warm, sun-baked diamonds, sign autographs galore, and provide hope that this may be their team’s year. As preseason games between major-league teams begin on Saturday, here are a few facts to give you some background on spring ball.
Spring ball is divided into two leagues, the Grapefruit League in Florida, and the Cactus League in Arizona. Although the Grapefruit League once had significantly more teams, the Cactus League has pulled even in recent years, with 15 teams now training in both Florida and Arizona. For fans who like to stay put as much as possible, Arizona offers the advantage of having all its teams based in the Phoenix metro area. At various times, some teams trained in California in what was called the Orange League. But it never achieved critical mass.