SI Vault
 
When Baseball Sprang for Hot Springs
Jay Jennings
March 22, 1993
Nearly a century ago the springtime mecca for many major league players was a spa in Arkansas
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
March 22, 1993

When Baseball Sprang For Hot Springs

Nearly a century ago the springtime mecca for many major league players was a spa in Arkansas

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2 3

Although there were still major leaguers to be found there throughout the '20s, the influx of players to Hot Springs eventually slowed to a trickle, and the big league game quietly faded away. The town's memory of its baseball heritage faded too. One local historian claimed in 1987 that there was "no record of organized ball in Hot Springs prior to 1914."

But as we've seen, there was, and this faded history deserves to be remembered for the images it evokes: an irascible Cap Anson arguing over gate receipts; an aging Walter Johnson scaling a hill to play catch; Babe Ruth swaddled in towels on a bathhouse bench. When baseball left Hot Springs, it gained a more temperate climate and smoother fields, but it left behind a glamorous and exciting past.

1 2 3