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Phoenix-area town to welcome in 60 years of spring training baseball

PHOENIX — One Phoenix area town is set to welcome in 60 years of Cactus League spring training baseball with a large weekend celebration.

Scottsdale, Arizona, home to several Cactus League teams such as the San Francisco Giants, has been home to baseball legends such as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Barry Bonds in the last half-decade.

Mike Phillips, public affairs manager for Scottsdale, said the city first welcomed spring training baseball in 1956, when the Baltimore Orioles opened their spring training at Scottsdale Stadium.

“(The) original Scottsdale Stadium was built out of a farm field,” he said, calling it the most grand building in downtown Scottsdale. “It’s hard to imagine farm fields in downtown Scottsdale, but 60 years that was the case.”

In celebration of the anniversary, a free Spring Training Festival will be held on Saturday, kicking off with a Giants game against the Texas Rangers.

Phillips said, even though the game itself will not be free, there will be plenty of activities available to guests, such as pitching, base running, live music and food. The festival will start at 11 a.m., while the game will begin at 1:05 p.m.

After the game, guests are invited to stay for a 2016 Cactus League Hall of Fame inductee celebration, which will begin at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.

The Giants will host their first home spring training game on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels, a game that will mark more than half a decade of baseball in the making.

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