THE CLASS OF 2014
Dwight W. "Pat" Patterson
Mesa Rancher and Businessman, 1912 - 1999
One of the Cactus League's biggest civic boosters, he is credited with bringing the Chicago Cubs to Mesa in 1952 and then bringing them back to Mesa from Scottsdale in 1979. He was the first chairman of the storied Hohokams civic club, created to pursue a spring training baseball team in 1946 and was selected by Governor Rose Mofford to lead her task force to save spring training in the late 1980's.
Owner, New York/San Francisco Giants, 1936 - 1976
Horace Stoneham is credited with helping to start the Cactus League when he moved his team to Phoenix from Florida in 1947. Himself the owner of a winter home in Phoenix at the time, Stoneham also swapped spring camps with Del Webb in 1951, when Mr. Webb proposed bringing his New York Yankees to the Cactus League for a season of baseball and selling homes.
Stoneham's team spent more than two decades visiting the Buckhorn Baths and Mineral Springs in Mesa leaving a rich trail of spring training history and memories that continue to amaze fans today.
Bill Veeck, Jr.
Owner, Cleveland Indians, 1946 - 1949
Bill Veeck, Jr. is credited with helping to start the Cactus League when he moved his team to Tucson from Florida in 1947. Urged by Arizona State Senator Hiram Corbett of Tucson, Veeck wanted to move his newly acquired team to be near his Southern Arizona guest ranch. He was able to accomplish his goal when he found another owner willing to join him in the desert, N.Y. Giants owner Horace Stoneham.
Hon. Rose Mofford
Arizona Governor, 1988 - 1991
Former Arizona Governor Rose Mofford was in the right place at the right time when it came to the task of saving spring training baseball in Arizona. Florida interests were known to have contacted every team that trained in Arizona at the time, but it was the threat of losing the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians that caused the most concern.
In 1988, Governor Mofford, herself a former All-American softball player with the Cantaloupe Queens, appointed a task force to study ways to keep teams training in Arizona. The task force's work led to retention of the teams already here, the addition of new teams and an explosion in fan attendance. Governor Mofford saved spring training and cemented the Cactus League as a fixture in the state.
Ted and Alice Sliger
Owners of the Buckhorn Baths, Mesa, AZ, 1935 - 2010
When their gas station burned down in 1935, the couple purchased ten acres of land at the northwest corner of Apache Trail and Recker Road then located miles east of Mesa. While digging a well, they discovered a mineral spring that spurred the development of a series of small bathhouses, complete with a Roman style bath and cooling room.
The resort quickly became a favorite pre-Spring Training ritual for select members of the New York and San Francisco Giants and other baseball celebrities over the years. Alice's lifelong commitment to saving the history of the Buckhorn has resulted in the preservation of a rich collection of baseball memorabilia, with emphasis on her friends in the Giants organization and also Mesa's Chicago Cubs.
Arizona State Senator, Tucson, AZ, 1953 - 1964
Hi Corbett was a Tucson native who is credited with helping to convince Bill Veeck to bring his Cleveland Indians to Southern Arizona for spring training, giving rise to the Cactus League.
Corbett was an amateur golfer who organized Tucson's first professional golf tournament, was President of the Texas Baseball League, and served his community in the Arizona State Senate. The ballpark that played host to the Indians and ultimately the expansion Colorado Rockies, Hi Corbett Field, was named for him in 1951.