Descendants of Babe Ruth, Major League Legends to Be In Hot Springs in March for Completion of Historic Baseball Trail; Schedule of Events Is Announced

March 1st, 2018

Descendants of baseball immortal Babe Ruth and Major League legends Ferguson (Fergie) Jenkins and Al (The Mad Hungarian) Hrabosky will interact with the public March 23 and March 24 when Hot Springs completes its internationally famous Historic Baseball Trail.

What is being called The Hot Springs Baseball Weekend will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s historic 500-foot home run during spring training at Whittington Park in Hot Springs. There will be a dedication of two Baseball Trail markers honoring legendary Arkansas-born catcher Bill Dickey and legendary pitcher Lefty Grove.

“We will be joined at this celebration by three generations of the Babe Ruth family, including his grandson, Tom Stevens, great-grandson, Brent Stevens, and the Babe’s great-great granddaughters,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “Babe Ruth’s daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, was invited but will be unable to attend. She will celebrate her 102nd birthday July 17.”

“On Friday, March 23, we will dedicate the final two plaques in the Historic Baseball Trail to honor the scores of pitchers and catchers who trained in Hot Springs, which is now widely known as The Birthplace of Major League Spring Training,” Arrison said.

Here is the schedule of public events planned for the Baseball Weekend. All the events are free and open to the public:

Friday, March 23

  • 11:30 a.m. — Dedication of Baseball Trail Plaques honoring Bill Dickey and Lefty Grove on Whittington Avenue, across from Dryden Pottery
  • 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.Playing in the Major Leagues Panel Discussion featuring Hall of Famer Ferguson (Fergie) Jenkins and player-turned-broadcaster Al (The Mad Hungarian) Hrabosky in Room 208 of the Hot Springs Convention Center. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Rex Nelson will moderate all the panel discussions
  • 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. — Autograph Session featuring Ferguson Jenkins and Al Hrabosky in Room 208 of the Hot Springs Convention Center

Saturday, March 24

  • 11 a.m. — Ceremony at Home Plate celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Babe Ruth’s Prolific Homerun at Whittington Park across from the Arkansas Alligator Farm
  • 1 p.m. — Screening of the Emmy Award-winning Larry Foley documentary film, The First Boys of Spring, which documents the birth of Major League spring training in Hot Springs more than 100 years ago, in Room 208 of the Convention Center
  • 2:30 p.m.Baseball in Hot Springs Panel Discussion featuring the five historians who created the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail: Bill Jenkinson, Tim Reid, Mike Dugan, Mark Blaeuer and Don Duren. Journalist Rex Nelson will be the moderator for the panel discussion in Room 208 of the Hot Springs Convention Center
  • 3:45 p.m.The Life of the Sultan of Swat Panel Discussion featuring members of the Babe Ruth Family and noted Babe Ruth historians Bill Jenkinson and Tim Reid in Room 208 of the Hot Springs Convention Center

The Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail traces the locations, activities and information about the hundreds of Major League baseball players and staff who trained in Hot Springs long before spring training became associated with places in Arizona and Florida.

Tim Reid and his son, Timmy, have completed two websites that commemorate Ruth’s First 500-foot Home Run and the legendary catchers who are known to have trained in Hot Springs.

Those websites are: and . The sites contain a wealth of information about the players and their relationship to baseball’s early days in Hot Springs.

Comprehensive information about the Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail is available online at

For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.