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Vintage Baseball Being Played In Some Arizona Cities

Vintage baseball players in Maryvale.
(Photo by Steve Goldstein - KJZZ)
Vintage baseball players in Maryvale.

Spring training baseball is happening all around the Valley, and there’s a casual vibe on the field and in the stands. We know that’ll change in less than a month when the major league games will count, the outcomes will matter and the players won’t be thinking about their tee times on the golf course.

There’s a very different kind of baseball being played in some corners of the state. It’s vintage baseball. The players wear uniforms and hats that are more authentic to the 19th century than the 21st. And on the field, the pitcher throws underhand, and you don’t have any 3-2 counts — because balls and strikes aren’t tallied the same way.

Last weekend, The Show's Steve Goldstein headed to Maryvale to watch a couple of teams in action. One of those teams in the Arizona Territories Vintage Baseball League — the Glendale Gophers — are run by Lance Busch.

After talking with Busch, Goldstein turned to his oldest teammate, Grant Waite, who just turned 70.

Next month, Bisbee’s legendary Warren Ballpark will host the championship game of the Vintage Baseball League. Noah Austin, associate editor of Arizona Highways magazine, wrote about the more than a century-old park and the vintage players who toil there. And he's here to talk about it.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.