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story.lead_photo.caption This plaque, installed in 2015 along the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail at the intersection of Spring Street and Central Avenue, tells the story of Dizzy and Daffy Dean. - File photo by The Sentinel-Record

Visit Hot Springs' decision to remove half the signs along the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail for refurbishing touched off unanticipated concern among the public that they had been stolen.

"We have already received calls from concerned residents and some visitors who were worried that the signs had been stolen," Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, said Wednesday in a news release.

"We want to assure Hot Springs residents and visitors who want to follow the trail that the signs are safe."

The baseball trail, which opened in March 2012, has 32 signs. Sixteen were removed for refurbishing.

"Some of the signs have been in place for nearly a decade and were in need of refurbishing, so we have sent them off to the manufacturer for restoration," Arrison said.

The dark green, cast-aluminum markers are mounted at key locations in the city's spring training history, such as the Whittington Park area and downtown Hot Springs. The baseball historians who contributed the information that went on the markers contend that the Spa City can lay claim to being the birthplace of Major League Baseball spring training, since Cap Anson brought his Chicago White Stockings, now the Chicago Cubs, to Hot Springs in 1886 to take advantage of its hot mineral baths, mountain trails and luxury hotels.

Visitors are able to obtain information about the trail by starting at the Visitor Center in Hill Wheatley Plaza or by using a mobile device app to follow the trail.

"We have been assured that the refurbished signs will be available for reinstallation by February. In the meantime, visitors still will be able to trace the city's historic role in baseball history via the map or from visitor center information or on our website," Arrison said.

The sites along the trail have links to the old Eastman Hotel; the Arlington Hotel; Sam Crawford; Whittington Park; Smokey Joe Woods; Fogel Field; Walter Johnson; Honus Wagner; Majestic Field; Rogers Hornsby; Jackie Robinson; Hank Aaron; Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort; Hot Springs Country Club; Sam Quinn Field; and National Baptist Hotel.

Local on 11/08/2019

Print Headline: Signs getting a facelift, not stolen, VHS says

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