Looking for a Baseball Vacation? Try the Arizona Fall League.

arizona_fall_league.gifThe Arizona Fall League is one of the best-kept secrets in baseball.  It’s a six-team instructional league that plays in… um… oh yeah, Arizona!  It allows some of the top prospects the chance to play baseball into October, in the nice weather and relaxed atmosphere of cities like Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, and Peoria.  Games are dirt cheap, and graduates of the AFL are frequently All-Star selections when they make the Show.  So why not catch them on the way up?

MLB.com writer Jonathan Mayo loves the AFL, and he detailed the charms of the league in an article on the site:

“Obviously, the weather is so ideal and I don’t know if you ever get too many chances to see that many players of that caliber on the field at the same time,” said Pirates prospect Neil Walker, who should know considering he played in the league in 2005 and 2006. “I loved going out there. I was hoping to go out there again. Living out there for a month and a half, it’s a nice getaway.”

That’s what baffles me. Who wouldn’t want an AFL getaway? Usually the hardcore baseball fan ferrets out all the cool things to do, hidden diamonds and obvious stops. Yes, Spring Training tends to be the time baseball fans make trips for terrific access and good weather. And, truth be told, you won’t see the Vladimir Guerreros of today if you go to Arizona now like you would if you went in March. But you may see the Vladdy, or Albert (he’s an AFL alum, by the way) of tomorrow.

And it’s dirt cheap. For a family pass — that’s for up to six family members — it’s only $105 for the entire six-week season. Are you single? Only $75 gets you to as many AFL games as you can handle for the season (hurry, though, the season pass is on sale only until Oct. 16).


I’m becoming more and more convinced that an enterprising baseball fan could cobble together a schedule that would allow him or her to remain immersed in the game nearly year-round.  With the AFL finishing up in early November, and NCAA ball cranking up in early February, the mega-fan really need only take a short break to spend holidays with the family before soldiering on.

And, even while you’re gorging on turkey at the grown-ups’ table, Bus League Baseball will still be here to keep you informed.

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