Base Hits

Wanna party with some celebrity swingers? Keep your pants on -- we're talkin' softball. This Monday, February 16, the Scottsdale Charros present the 1st Pitch Celebrity Softball Game & All-Star Concert at Rawhide Wild West Town. Combining line drives and line dancing, the 1st case scenario includes a 3:30 p.m. game and 7 p.m. concert by headlining band Trick Pony, plus country boys Mark Wills, Chad Brock and Joe Nichols. Mark Presidents Day by celebrating great leaders of the past and present (okay, maybe just the past) at Rawhide, 23023 North Scottsdale Road, two miles north of Loop 101 in Scottsdale. Tickets, good for the game and concert, are $15 at the gate or through; proceeds benefit Valley children's charities. -- Jill Koch

No Harlem, No Foul
The stars of basketball pranks come to the Valley

Basketball's favorite court jesters shoot into America West Arena this Sunday, February 15, for a double header against the New York Nationals. Marking their 78th season with a world tour, the Harlem Globetrotters juggle roundball action with fund raising and appearances at schools, hospitals and youth organizations (doesn't leave a lot of time to guest star on Scooby-Doo). Sunday's game times are 2 and 7:30 p.m.; 30-minute postgame meet-and-greets allow every kid in attendance to meet a 'trotter. Tickets start at $10 and are available at the AWA box office, 201 East Jefferson, or through -- Jill Koch

Skywatchers look to Venus

How do astronomy buffs celebrate Valentine's Day? The same way romantics do. "Think Venus," says Scott Anderson, director of Gilbert's Riparian Institute, sponsor of the Skywatch program that resumes at 8 p.m. Friday, February 13. Stargazers will gather at the Southeast Regional Library, located at Greenfield and Guadalupe roads, to learn about the planet of love. Technical types will dig the fact that, at 4.5 billion years old and 457 degrees Fahrenheit, Venus is still one hot babe. And romantics eyeing the nature preserve will notice how the goddess looks out for her daughters: On clear nights, she tosses diamonds down to Earth, where they glimmer and flash on the water. Admission is $3. For more information, see or call 480-503-6744. -- Kim Toms