THE CLASS OF 2015
Hon. Jane Dee Hull
Arizona Governor, 1997 - 2003
Former Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull had the difficult task of leading the charge to create a new funding stream for a variety of uses including Cactus League ballpark renovations and expansions. Her deft leadership and team of committed supporters and politicos helped win voter approval for Maricopa County's Proposition 302 creating the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority and ultimately funding millions of dollars in baseball facility work since 2000.
Her efforts resulted in a "Golden Age" of expansion across the Cactus League with five teams leaving Florida for Arizona as a result of Prop. 302's passage. Hull's actions also prevented efforts by Nevada to lure four teams to Las Vegas.
Hon. Ron Travers
Mayor of Peoria, 1985 - 1991
While we think of Peoria's current teams, the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, as the only clubs ever to train there, it was the Milwaukee Brewers who years earlier established minor league operations on the former Greenway Sports Complex with the help of an energetic public servant named Ron Travers.
Before he was mayor, Travers served on the Board of the Peoria Municipal Development Authority, which sought $1.5 million in bonds to build the fields that opened in April 1978. Ultimately the Brewers left the West Valley for Chandler, but Travers' efforts helped spark others to work toward construction of baseball's first-ever two-team spring training facility and relocation of the Mariners and Padres to their community.
Topps Photographer, 1989 - Present
When Gregg Forwerck arrives in Arizona in mid-February to begin photographing players on what he calls his "hit list," he affectionately refers to his time in Arizona's Cactus League as "my prison term in paradise."
For slightly more than a quarter of a century, since 1989, Forwerck has taken pictures for the Topps Chewing Gum Co. He is in his 15th season of shooting photos during Arizona's Cactus League, and overall, estimates that about 25,000 of his images have appeared on trading cards.
Topps Photographer, 1972 - 1994
Doug McWilliams hasn't shot photos for the Topps Chewing Gum Co. for 20 years, but the greatness of his work left an indelible mark. From 1972 to 1994, McWilliams roamed spring training facilities that are now a distant memory - such as Mesa's Rendezvous Park, Yuma and the original Scottsdale Stadium.
A scientific industrial photographer at the University of California who had to make nuts and bolts look good, McWilliams' photography made players look great. After former Oakland A’s star pitcher Vida Blue asked McWilliams to shoot some pictures of him for his mother and later postcards to send to his fans in 1971 - Topps liked the photos of Blue so well, company executives called McWilliams and asked him to shoot for them.
Topps Photographer, 1988 - Present
For more than 30 years, Ed Mailliard has believed in getting a good vantage point to get "the shot" and that's what it took for him to get a job with the Topps Chewing Gum Co. He is a former sports writer, photographer then managing editor for The Meadville Tribune in his hometown of Meadville, PA.
On his days off Mailliard also took pictures for Sporting News, Baseball Digest and Street and Smith's. When he submitted a portfolio of his photos to Topps in 1981, they hired him right away to begin shooting photos for football cards. Mailliard is set to begin his 28th consecutive season of shooting photos of baseball players for Topps during spring training in Arizona. He estimates that about 15,000 of his images have appeared on trading cards.
Clubhouse Manager, NY/SF Giants, 1947 - 1979
Eddie Logan spent his entire life taking care of baseball players and their equipment as a clubhouse "gofer," assistant clubhouse manager and finally clubhouse manager for the New York and San Francisco Giants. Included in that nearly sixty years of service were 33 seasons in the Cactus League, where he worked as a one-man show making sure everything was in order for future Hall of Famers and rookies alike as they arrived in Arizona to prepare for each major league season.
He handed out the uniform numbers, distributed tickets to players and families and was very well known at Durant's Steakhouse in Phoenix. His work here took him all over Arizona since the Giants trained at the original Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Central Avenue, the current Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Francisco Grande in Casa Grande, and Scottsdale Stadium.