Hot Springs, Arkansas. Not a place you necessarily associate with baseball. But Hot Springs became the birthplace of Major League Baseball’s spring training in 1886. Many major league teams trained there between 1886 and 1926. After that, Negro League and minor league teams trained there in the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Baseball legends from Babe Ruth to Jackie Robinson made stops there during their careers.
Going to Hot Springs is like stepping back in time. Baseball was attracted to Hot Springs because of its healing bath houses and warmer climate for spring training. It also is one of the oldest national parks and you can walk back in time through the Fordyce Bath House that also serves as the National Park Service’s visitor’s center for the park.
Of course, the coolest thing about Hot Springs is the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail. The tour takes you to the ballparks where the teams conducted spring training, as well as the hotels where they stayed and the places they spent their spare time. I’ve posted just a few photos of my time there. I highly recommend putting it on your list of baseball places to visit.