PHOTO GALLERY.... TAKE A PEEK
ABOUT ZEKE CRANDALL
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To My Readers:
Growing up in Phoenix in the 1950’s was a great place to live. At that time we had the Phoenix Giants, which was the AAA franchise affiliated with the San Francisco Giants when they moved from New York in 1955. We saw a lot of great major league ball players come through Phoenix on their way to the big leagues, including Willie McCovey, Vic Wertz, Juan Marichal and the three Alou brothers, Felipe, Jesus and Matte.
Having lived in Canada until I was nine years old, I knew hockey but baseball was a new and exciting sport to me. I made friends with three buds in our neighborhood, Carlos Ramirez, Bobby Redwood and Jim Martel. We played ball everyday at our sandlot and Bobby’s mom drove us four boys to the old Phoenix Municipal Stadium that is pictured on the cover to watch our Phoenix Giants play games.
The highlight of our lives, though, was spring training every year. At that time four Major league teams made up the Cactus League, The San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s, the San Diego Padres and the Milwaukee Brewers competed for the Cactus League Crown for the month of March and still do to this day. Today the league has grown to the point that more that half of the Major League teams now call the Valley of the Sun their Spring Training headquarters.
My friends and I had the pleasure of seeing on of the greatest baseball players of all time, Willie Mays. He never left the field without signing autographs for every kid that wanted one. This story is about my interaction with both Willie Mays and Willie McCovey and how much they influenced my life and my friends’ lives.
Zeke Crandall Author & Historian
Release date of this digital and printed book- Spring 2015