THE CLASS OF 2018
Frank Robinson made his debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 capturing the NL Rookie of the year award hitting a then rookie record 38 home runs.
He is the first (and only) player to win the MVP award in both Leagues; with the Reds in 1961 and the Baltimore Orioles in 1966 when he also captured the AL Triple Crown leading the league with 49 HRs, 122 RBI and a .316 batting average.
Towards the end of his 21-year Hall of Fame career Robinson became Major League Baseball’s first African American manager while doubling as a designated hitter for the Cleveland Indians in 1975. Robinson managed his former Orioles team from 1988-1991 and was named American League Manager of the Year in 1989.
Robinson was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and received MLB’s Beacon of Life Award in 2008 for embodying the spirit of the civil rights movement. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
North Carolina native Gaylord Perry pitched for eight teams in his 22 year Major League career. His longest stint (10 years) was with his original club, the San Francisco Giants. Debuting in 1962, he had his first 20-win campaign and All-Star Game appearance in 1966. In 1968 Perry threw a no-hitter against the Cardinals.
The Giants traded Perry in 1971 to the Indians where he thrived. His 24-win, 1.92 ERA for Cleveland in 1972 won him the A.L. Cy Young Award, an honor he repeated in 1978 for the San Diego Padres -- at age 39. Perry was the first pitcher to win a Cy Young in both leagues.
In 1982 he won his 300th game with the Mariners. At the time of his retirement Perry's total of 314 wins ranked 10th all-time and his 3,534 strikeouts were third. He spent 17 of his 22 springs in he Cactus League. Gaylord Perry was elected to the National Baseball Hall of
Fame in 1991.
Bob Uecker grew up in Wisconsin and signed with the hometown Milwaukee Braves, making his six-year Major League career debut as a catcher in 1962. It was after his playing days when his career took off as an actor, comedian, author, and broadcaster.
Known as “Mr. Baseball”, Uecker has been behind the microphone for the Brewers since 1971. He’s also announced Championship and World Series games and was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with its 2003 Ford C. Frick Award for his broadcasting.
Uecker’s far ranging career has included: Hosting his own syndicated TV shows, appearing on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, guest hosting Saturday Night Live, WWE Hall of Fame inductee as a wrestling announcer, spokesperson for Miller Lite, authoring the book - Catcher in the Wry, and acting as a radio announcer in the Major League film trilogy.
For nearly five decades Bob Uecker has started his major league seasons in the Cactus League announcing for the Brewers
Chicago Cubs Clubhouse Manager Yosh Kawano retired in 2008 after an amazing 65 year run with the team. He was so beloved that when the Wrigley family sold the Cubs to the Tribune Company in 1981, the contract stipulated Kawano would always have a job with the team.
Kawano, a Japanese American and his family were held at Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona, during World War II. While interned Kawano wrote a letter to Chicago White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes who had befriended during his spring training stint as bat boy. With the assistance of Dykes’ intervention on his behalf Kawano was released from the internment camp and traveled to Chicago where was hired by the Cubs as a clubhouse assistant in 1943 and 1944 before enlisting in the U.S. Military where he served as an intelligence officer working as a translator in the Philippines and New Guinea. Kawano returned to the Cubs after the war and continued in his role as clubhouse assistant until being appointed clubhouse manager in 1953 after the departure (retirement) of long-time trainer Andy Lotshaw.
Kawano helped the Cubs move spring training operations from Catalina Island to Mesa, Arizona in 1952. He donated his trademark cap to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, after retiring.
“Lemonade, Lemonade Like Grandma Made!” With his signature call vendor Derrick Moore has entertained Cactus League baseball fans for decades as one of the most widely recognized ballpark personalities in the league’s history.
Moore’s lengthy list of vending venues includes the 1996 and 2008 Super Bowls, two NBA All-Star Games (1995 and 2009) the 2001 World Series, the 2011 MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix, AZ and the 2016 MLB All-Star Game in San Diego, CA, the 2014 College World Series in Omaha, NE and multiple NHL Playoff series in Phoenix.
Moore has been a familiar and friendly presence on Arizona’s sporting scene since the mid-1980s when he began selling soda at Scottsdale Stadium. He’s hawked concessions at almost every Cactus League ballpark in operation during his career. In 2015 Derrick Moore was named #TopMLBVendor in an online poll of Major League Baseball fans.