Best Baseball (2001)

Arizona Fall League Baseball

When it comes to baseball, you can sit with the roof closed, far, far away from the field. Or you can wait for the weather to cool and sit front-row center, close enough to hear catchers mutter to umps, "How many fingers you see me holding up?" We've never been able to figure why this extraordinary peek at baseball's future gamers doesn't draw larger crowds. But those with baseball savvy know this league for its one-day Hall of Famers -- Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra are two -- who've knocked its chunky red dirt from their shimmering cleats. The league's six teams, comprising farm and first-year talents from major league clubs, play at five Cactus League stadiums from October through the second week in November. It's baseball the way it should be, played on green grass in bright sunlight.


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