Pitching Arizona’s First Baseball History Museum

Rendering of Play Ball: The Arizona Baseball Museum, courtesy Mesa Historical Museum

The Mesa Historical Museum is on a mission to create Arizona’s first dedicated baseball museum, transforming the historic Lehi Auditorium into a celebration of baseball’s deep roots in Arizona. This project aims to refurbish the Lehi Auditorium, built in 1939 and a witness to decades of community life, into “Play Ball: The Arizona Baseball Museum.”

Arizona’s baseball narrative is vast and vibrant, stretching from the stories of World War II Japanese internment camp leagues to the inception of the Cactus League in 1947 and the players who have since been inducted into the Cactus League Hall of Fame. This museum aspires to showcase Arizona’s rich baseball heritage and extensive history, offering a window into the sport’s profound local impact.

The idea is for the auditorium’s 4,000-square-foot area to exhibit an extensive collection of baseball memorabilia, offering fans and historians alike a unique glimpse into the game’s history.

During spring training, when the museum’s visitation spikes, the auditorium’s transformation would allow for the full array of baseball stories to be shared, enhancing the visitor experience and drawing more people to Mesa. Additionally, the space will serve the community, hosting events and creating a sustainable model through rental fees.

The museum’s transformation is driven by community support, with a portion of the needed $600,000 already secured. The Mesa Historical Museum encourages baseball enthusiasts and local residents to contribute to this legacy project. Supporters can donate directly or participate in the “Buy-A-Brick” program, making a lasting mark on the museum’s foundation..

Mesa Historical Museum Director Susan Ricci aims to open the museum by Cactus League Spring Training 2026. “We are asking people to step up to the plate and help us build Arizona’s first baseball museum,” says Ricci.

This initiative not only preserves a piece of Arizona’s baseball story but also revives a historic site for future community use. For more information on how to contribute to the making of the Arizona Baseball Museum, visit the Mesa Historical Museum website here.

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