Playing Cards Mural

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Texas artists Chris Arnold and Jeff Garrison of Dallas created the mural honoring five iconic baseball greats — Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and Lefty Grove, all who had intimate ties to Hot Springs in the late 19th and 20th Centuries when the city was known worldwide as the place where Major League players got ready for the baseball season.

Ohio and Southern Clubs

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Most Major League players of the early 20th century had few inhibitions, and many enjoyed gambling during training trips to Hot Springs. Among the most popular casinos in the city were the Southern Club, built a few doors to the right in 1893, and the Ohio Club, built in 1905. Al Capone, “Lucky” Luciano, “Bugsy” Siegel, Frank Costello and other mobsters also frequented these clubs.

Hot Springs Country Club

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Although the original clubhouse was replaced long ago, the golf course is essentially the same as when it was founded in 1898. Dozens of Baseball Hall of Fame members have played these links, including such icons as Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson. Babe Ruth was a regular here, playing 36 holes a day during his many visits to Hot Springs.

Happy Hollow

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Other than the hot baths, hiking the mountain trails was the biggest reason for baseball players to train in Hot Springs. Much of the legendary stamina of pitching legends Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, and Lefty Grove was forged by hiking the long trails that began and ended, in this area called Happy Hollow.

Bathhouse Row

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The health benefits of “taking the baths” were a primary reason for baseball coming to Hot Springs. The players tended to drink heavily, and believed they could “boil out” the impurities in their system. The Buckstaff, still in use as a bathhouse today, was built in 1912, and hosted many prominent players. The Fordyce Bathhouse, built in 1915, is houses the gym where many players trained and is now the National Park Visitor Center.

Oaklawn Park

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Many of baseball’s greatest players were fond of thoroughbred racing. Established in 1905, Oaklawn became a favorite destination for such baseball legends as John McGraw and Rogers Hornsby, who were particularly fond of “betting on the ponies.” Honus Wagner, Satchel Paige, Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth, along with many other Hall of Famers, have also visited this racetrack.