The End Of A Spring Training Era: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks at Tucson, Thursday 3/25, 3:05 CT

This is the 64th consecutive year that one or more major league baseball teams has trained in Tucson, Arizona. The Cleveland Indians moved there in 1947, and when they left for Florida after the 1992 season, the Colorado Rockies took over their training base at Hi Corbett Field.

The Rockies were joined by the White Sox and Diamondbacks in 1998 at Tucson Electric Park. When the White Sox left Tucson last year, the other two teams both had an option to leave if there were only two teams remaining in Tucson. They opted to exercise that option and the D'backs and Rox will train in this spiffy new complex on native American land just east of Scottsdale starting in 2011. Next year, all 15 teams training in Arizona will be located in the Phoenix metro area.

The last spring training game in Tucson will be at Hi Corbett on March 31 between the Rockies and Diamondbacks. However, today is the Cubs' final trip to Tucson. A salute from BCB to the end of a long spring training era.

I'm not making this final Cubs trip to Tucson. (Let's hope the team's trip goes better than last week, when their bus broke down.) Instead, I'm going to head to Fitch Park later today to watch some of the Cubs minor leaguers in action, and will post about that this evening.

Tom Gorzelanny will start today's game for the Cubs. This Sun-Times article says Gorz likely has a spot in the rotation -- I'd give that to Sean Marshall. The Diamondbacks will start Dan Haren.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today. As noted earlier this week in Carrie Muskat's blog, you can listen to the game today free via MLB Audio:

Fans can listen to live streaming play-by-play ... through Thursday, free of charge, via cubs.com. Mick Gillespie, voice of the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, will call the action.

To access the webcast, fans need to visit cubs.com and select "Listen to Gameday Audio" from the "Audio and Video" link at the top of the page.

MLB.com Gameday

SB Nation game preview

As usual, the first pitch thread will post at 3 pm CDT, and the overflow thread at 4:15 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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