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Take me out to an Arizona ballgame

As reported last month, I’m spending most of the winter enjoying the glorious winter Arizona weather of Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun.” In addition to the many other things that attract countless “snowbirds” and other vacationers to the area, Cactus League Spring Training Baseball is a major draw for fans of America’s pastime.

When the “boys of summer” begin their annual series of exhibition games, we’re happily reminded that winter’s end and the start of the baseball season are now only about a month away.

With all due respect to my friends in Florida, who have plenty of their own attractions of which to be proud, I much prefer the Cactus League to that state’s geographically diverse Grapefruit League. First, the Arizona weather in late February and March is pretty much unbeatable: Lots of sunshine, little rain, low humidity and temperatures that range from pleasantly cool to comfortably warm. 

But just as important is that 15 teams (half of Major League Baseball) now train in the “Valley of the Sun,” which is within a 25-mile radius of downtown Phoenix.  Consequently, one need only book centrally located accommodations to be within easy driving distance of an outstanding schedule of games every day.

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”. 

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.

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