Salt River Fields for Native American Indian magazine

Native Places

Salt River Fields Forever:

Spring training and ancient ball courts

From my room on the sixth floor of the Talking Stick Resort and
Casino near Scottsdale, Ariz., I see Salt River Fields at Talking Stick,
the new spring home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado
Rockies. Built on land owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian
Community, it is the first Major League Baseball facility to be built on
tribal land.

The development, says Community spokesman Levi Long, is
“bringing baseball back home.” Says Long, “Ball games have always
been played in this region. The ancients used ballparks for socializing
and commerce.”

While modern American baseball most likely evolved from British
games of cricket and rounders, Native ball games and ball-and-stick
rituals have been part of life on the American continents for more than
2,000 years. Ball courts created almost a millennium ago by Arizona’s
indigenous peoples existed within a few miles of the present Salt River
Fields ballpark.

Read the Full story in National Museum of the Native American magazine