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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                    Jan. 11, 2018  
 

 

 

FRANK ROBINSON, BOB UECKER, AND GAYLORD PERRY HIGHLIGHT FIFTH CACTUS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CLASS
 

-- Induction ceremony is scheduled in conjunction with Cactus League annual luncheon on February 20, 2018 --

(SCOTTSDALE, AZ) – Frank Robinson, major league baseball’s first African-American manager and the only player to win the MVP award in both the American and National Leagues highlights the 2018 Cactus League Hall of Fame induction class which also includes National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry and Ford Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence Bob Uecker, all three of whom contributed significantly to Arizona’s Cactus League spring training circuit.

Created by the Arizona Spring Training Experience and the Mesa Historical Museum, the Cactus League Hall of Fame "honors those who played a key role in the growth and development of Major League spring training baseball in Arizona as well as a select group of players who helped to solidify the league's reputation as a premier showcase of Major League baseball talent and contribute to the league’s legend and culture."

This fifth annual Cactus League Hall of Fame induction is scheduled to take place in conjunction with the Cactus League’s annual luncheon at 11 a.m. Feb. 20 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road.

Individual seats to the luncheon range from $75 (for groups of eight or more) to $100 for single seats and are available to the public while supply lasts. To experience this historical ceremony and be part of the Cactus League tradition, email info@cactusleague.com


Frank Robinson made his major league managerial debut with the Cleveland Indians in 1975 when the team conducted spring training at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Arizona and again in 1976. Later he also became the National League’s first black manager for the San Francisco Giants and returned to the Cactus League with the team at Phoenix Municipal Stadium from 1981 – 1984.
 

Gaylor Perry, played for eight major league teams in his 22-year career breaking in with the San Francisco Giants in 1962 he spent his first 10 springs with the club in Phoenix before being traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1972. The Indians and Giants were the first two teams to officially conduct spring training in Arizona, with the Indians holding camp at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson. In his first season with the club Perry pitched an AL leading 29 complete games and also led the league with 24 wins, capturing his first of two Cy Young Awards. Perry was still pitching for the Indians during Robinson’s first season as manager. He also spent Cactus League seasons with the San Diego Padres in Yuma (1978-1979) and the Seattle Mariners in Tempe (1982-1983).

Bob “Mr. Baseball” Uecker parlayed his dubious six-year major league career into a highly decorated and celebrated career as a broadcaster, actor and author.  He is as well known for his fictional role as a Cleveland Indians broadcaster in the movies Major League and Major League II and for his actual 47 years in the broadcast booth for his hometown Milwaukee Brewers, where he also broke in as a player in 1962. In 2003 he was the recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

Other inductees in this year’s Cactus League Hall of Fame class include:

Long time Chicago Cubs Clubhouse Manager Yosh Kawano, is a first generation Japanese American who was interred with his family at the Poston War Relocation Center in Yuma County Arizona during World War II, before embarking on a lengthy career in baseball. Kawano began his career in baseball as a bat boy for the Chicago White Sox during spring training in Pasadena, California before enlisting in the U.S. military and spending 18 months as an intelligence officer in the South Pacific. Kawano began his 65-year-run with the Cubs in 1943.

 

Perhaps the most well-known and loved sports venue vendor in Arizona, the affable Derrick Moore’s signature “lemonade, lemonade like grandma made,” call has become an iconic part of the state’s sports culture. A familiar and friendly presence on Arizona’s sporting scene since the mid-1980s when he began selling soda at Scottsdale Stadium; In 2015 Moore was named #TopMLBVendor in an online poll of Major League Baseball fans.

Click the PDF icon to read article

KAWANO'S CLUBHOUSE

CUBS LEGENDARY FORMER CLUBHOUSE MANAGER YOSH KAWANO GETS THE CALL FROM THE CACTUS LEAGUE HALL OF FAME, BUT THAT'S FAR FROM THE FIRST RECOGNITION HE'S RECEIVED. 

THIS ARTICLE BY CHARLIE VASELLARO IS FROM THE CUBS 2018 SPRING TRAINING PROGRAM

            Leading off the fifth annual Cactus League Hall of Fame induction an emotional Derrick Moore revealed a humble side of his personality that local sports fans familiar with the affably famous ballpark vendor may have never seen before. 

            As part of the league’s annual luncheon at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Scottsdale on February 20, 2018, Moore delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech thanking his wife Renita and other family members in attendance while also recognizing three of his co-workers who had passed away since the last Cactus League season. 

            Best known for his signature “lemonade, lemonade like grandma made,” call, Moore spoke of his lengthy career beginning as a soda vendor at Scottsdale Stadium in the mid-1980’s, to the present day and expressed humble gratitude at being named to the Cactus League Hall of Fame. 

            Moore has worked at every Cactus League venue during the past three-and-half decades with the exception of Surprise Stadium. He’s also been a regular presence at Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns games year after year and most every major sporting event taking place in the Valley during his career. In 2015 Moore was named #TopMLBVendor in an online poll of Major League Baseball fans.

 

            Created by the Arizona Spring Training Experience Museum the Cactus League Hall of Fame "honors those who played a key role in the growth and development of Major League spring training baseball in Arizona, as well as a select group of players who helped to solidify the league's reputation as a premier showcase of Major League baseball talent and contribute to the league’s legend and culture."

            Moore was one of five inductees representing the 2018 class including: 

      
            Frank Robinson, major league baseball’s first African American manager who made his managerial debut with the Cleveland Indians at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson in the spring of 1975. Later Robinson became the first black manager in the National League for San Francisco Giants also conducting spring training in the Cactus League at Phoenix Municipal Stadium from 1981 – 1984. 

            In recognition of Robinson being named Major League Baseball’s first black manager this past year the Cleveland Indians erected a statue of Robinson holding a lineup card in his hands at Progressive Field’s Heritage Park.


            Robinson was not in attendance at the luncheon due to a back issue, but was recognized by the presence of members of the Cleveland Indians franchise and his friend lifelong baseball man Roland Hemond, who served as general manager for the Baltimore Orioles while Robinson was field manager from 1988-1991. The pair won respective Manager of the Year and Executive of the Year awards in 1989.

 
            Arizona Diamondbacks play-by-play announcer Steve Berthiaume served as the luncheon’s emcee and recognized 88-year-old Hemond’s presence and multitude accomplishments and contributions to baseball in Arizona.


             Gaylord Perry played for eight major league teams in his 22-year career, breaking in with the San Francisco Giants in 1962. He spent his first 10 springs with the club in Phoenix before being traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1972. 


            In his first season with the club Perry pitched an AL leading 29 complete games and also led the league with 24 wins, capturing his first of two Cy Young Awards. Perry was still pitching for the Indians during Robinson’s first season as manager. He also spent Cactus League seasons with the San Diego Padres in Yuma (1978-1979) and the Seattle Mariners in Tempe (1982-1983).

            Perry spoke of being invited to his first spring training with the Giants when he was just 18 years old and being invited to the Buckhorn Baths during spring training seasons to follow by former Giants owner Horace Stoneham.


            The Buckhorn Baths in Mesa were a major influence in Stoneham’s decision to bring the Giants to Arizona for spring training and figure prominently in the team’s Cactus League history.

 

           

           “It was a great treat. I even took my dad there one year and took my son there one year. Ted [Sliger, the proprietor] was just a great guy and his wife Alice was wonderful. It was like family. It was a lot of fun. They’d cook for you. They had the hot water in the tub for you to work those sore muscles out. They were very eager to get us in first place,” said Perry who spent 17 of his 22 spring training seasons in the Cactus League.


            Long time Chicago Cubs Clubhouse Manager Yosh Kawano, is a first generation Japanese American who was held with his family at the Poston War Relocation Center in Yuma County Arizona during World War II, before embarking on a lengthy career in baseball. Kawano began his career in baseball as a bat boy for the Chicago White Sox during spring training in Pasadena, California before enlisting in the U.S. military and spending 18 months as an intelligence officer in the South Pacific. Kawano began his 65-year-run with the Cubs in 1943.


                Immediately identifiable on the field for his trademark white floppy fishing hat, which now resides at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, Kawano was so ingrained in Cubs culture that the clubhouse had already been dedicated in his honor nearly 20 years before he retired. When the Wrigley family sold the Cubs in 1981, a stipulation in the contract specified that Kawano would always have a job with the team.

 
            Kawano currently resides in an assisted living facility in Los Angeles and his long time care takers Tony and Carl Ruzicka accepted Kawano’s plaque on his behalf sharing personal reminiscences and anecdotes. The pair was joined at the Dais by Cubs’ Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins.


            Bob “Mr. Baseball” Uecker has been broadcasting Milwaukee Brewers games and making the spring training trek with the team to Arizona since 1971. 


            Uecker parlayed his dubious six-year major league career into a highly decorated and celebrated career as a broadcaster, actor and author.  Incidentally Uecker was signed by Roland Hemond with the Milwaukee Braves in 1956 which he acknowledged from the podium. 

            Just as well known for his fictional role as a Cleveland Indians broadcaster in the movies Major League and Major League II as he is for his actual 47 years in the broadcast booth for his hometown Milwaukee Brewers where Uecker made his big league debut as a player in 1962.  A frequent guest on the Tonight Show, he made more than 100 appearances with Johnny Carson. He played the role of sportswriter and father George Owens on the television sitcom Mr. Belvedere for five years.

 

            In signature fashion Uecker delivered a self-effacing and humorous acceptance speech that served as the luncheon and induction ceremony keynote address which can be viewed here.
 

Cactus League Hall of Fame Induction Celebrates Baseball’s Opportunities

By

Charlie Vascellaro

Inductee Vendor Derrick Moore and wife Renita

Cactus League Hall of Fame Presenter Jaime Rupert with Tony and Carl Ruzicka who accepted the plaque for Yosh, along with Cactus League Halll of Fame Director Tim Sheridan

Cactus League Hall of Fame Presenter Jaime Rupert with Inductee Bob Uecker and Cactus League Halll of Fame Director Tim Sheridan

Inductee Gaylord Perry and Cactus League Hall of Fame Director Tim Sheridan

Inductee Frank Robinson at Tucson's Hi Corbett Field 1975