Art meets athletics

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No hard sell’s needed for baseball around our house. James has been a season ticket holder since the Arizona Diamondbacks made their debut more than a decade ago, and has long enjoyed taking the kids along for both home games and spring training events.

I’m a bigger fan of baseball ala art, which explains my delight at discovering portions of the “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” collection exhibited in the arts center for my hometown performing arts venue — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

I’ve been enjoying “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” works exhibited at the Arizona Museum for Youth for years, but soon the collection will have its own digs in Mesa.

Mesa Historical Museum housed the main collection for four years — but it’s now being moved to a dedicated space inside a former art gallery at 53 E. Main Street. The exhibition is expected to cover 3,000 square feet.

Exhibition organizers are working to secure a permanent home and museum for the collection, which has thus far been seen by more than 200,000 people — mostly during spring training season.

The “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” collection currently includes about 2,000 items, including “artifacts, relics from long gone ballparks, and photographs.”

Being a bit of a neophyte, I appreciated the timeline and other educational elements included in the display located at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts — which focuses on Scottsdale connections, such as Scottsdale Charros, to the Cactus League.

Another intriguing mix of art and athletics comes to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Thurs, March 29. It’s “Selected Shorts: Springtime, Sex and Baseball” — a stage adaptation of the “Selected Shorts” public radio series featuring host Isaiah Sheffer.

Sheffer will be joined on stage by Tony Award winner Renee Auberjonois and Emmy Award nominee Christina Pickles for “an evening of hilarious and unforgettable short stories about baseball and romance” authored by W.P. Kinsella, Garrison Keillor, Padgett Powell and others.

A Family People Productions work dubbed “Bardball” hits the Herberger Theater Center for Lunch Time Theater July 24-Aug 2. It’s one of three short plays that’ll be performed weekdays at 12:1opm for those of you who like to grab a bit of art and athletics during the lunch hour.

— Lynn

Note: You can also enjoy a portion of the “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park

Coming up: Showtime at Seton, Spring dance recitals, Golf meets musical theater

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