Sunrise at the stick

The Impulsive Traveler: Spring training in Arizona, on Native American land

 Talking Stick Resort. Golf course. Sunrise.
Talking Stick Resort. Golf course. Sunrise. (Talking Stick Resort)
By Charlie Vascellaro

Friday, March 4, 2011; 12:02 PM

The shuttle bus from the Talking Stick Resort to the brand-new Salt River Fields ballpark is actually more of a limousine, complete with curved leather benches, blue-glitter skylights, crystal glassware and a large flat-screen TV on the back wall.

In the same way, Salt River Fields is the Cadillac of Arizona’s Cactus League spring training venues. The sunken seating, invisible from the park’s exterior, is protected from the searing desert sun by soaring roofs that are a signature element of the stadium’s design.

Although I moved from Arizona to Baltimore 13 years ago, I return to the Copper State each spring to watch and write about the beginning of the baseball season. For the entire month of March, I step out of real time, whiling away the afternoons under high skies and sunshine with friends old and new, drinking beer and eating peanuts in Arizona’s cozy spring training ballparks.

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