Opening of Baseball Trail in Hot Springs

 
Great
news for baseball fans. March 29 marks the opening of a new attraction: The Historical Baseball Trail that documents Hot Springs: The Birthplace of Spring Baseball.
 
“A
series of 26 historical markers linked to the very latest digital technology
will allow visitors to tour the city and visit places where America’s baseball
legends came to play, train and visit during baseball’s golden age,” said Steve
Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs in a 
news release. “ More than 45 percent of the people in the Major League
Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., either played baseball or were in
some way associated with baseball training in Hot Springs National Park,
Arkansas.”

 

“One
hundred thirty-four of the 295 members of the Hall of Fame can be associated
with training, playing, visiting or otherwise being in Hot Springs, many from
the late 19th Century,” Arrison continued. “Five pre-eminent baseball
historians have painstakingly documented the Hot Springs connection to what
became known as the sport’s spring training.

 

According
to a news release written by Paul Johnson, twenty-six cast-aluminum plaques
have been installed all over the city at locations that range from the spot
where Babe Ruth in 1918 smacked a home run that traveled 573 feet and landed in
an alligator pit at the Arkansas Alligator Farm to the site of the hotel where
Ruth flipped a coin with his manager to determine Ruth’s salary for the next
year.
 
At
each location, the plaque will contain a QRC code that allows smartphone users
access an audio narration that adds more information about the plaque’s
significance in American baseball history. A website has also been created that
allows access to a complete list of the plaques, with the ability to click on a
specific site to learn more information related to that location and the player
or players associated with it.
 
A
free brochure showing the plaque locations and how to reach them  will also be available at the Visitor
Center in Hill Wheatley Plaza.
 
According
to Arrison, what began as a curiosity about why there were so many photos of
Babe Ruth at various locations in Hot Springs wound up unearthing a trove of
historic associations between the world’s most famous baseball players and the
city.
 
“The
idea emerged that we needed to let the people of America know about the people,
places and events that made Hot Springs a key element in the growth of
America’s pastime,” he said in a news release.
 
There
will be three ‘entry points’ to the trail: Hill Wheatley Plaza, Oaklawn Racing
& Gaming and Whittington Park. For more details contact Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.

 

The top photo
is of Leo Durocher ( standing) at the 1939 Dodgers at the old Eastman Hotel in
Hot Springs.

 

 

Posted in Kids
One comment on “Opening of Baseball Trail in Hot Springs
  1. Tricia Woodson says:

    We were in Hot Springs March 7-11, 2012 and had no idea of this! After visiting the Alligator farm I was directed across the street to view what remains of concrete bleachers and the spot of home plate in the parking lot. How exciting that this project is being done! Please send me a link to the video!!!

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