7th Annual Copper Classic News


On Saturday and Sunday April 16 and 17, 2016 at Historic Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, join the Arizona Territories Vintage Base Ball League as it honors the man who gave the University of Arizona its legendary slogan “Bear Down.”

The inspiring life story of U of A student body president and athlete John “Button” Salmon, Bisbee High School class of 1921, will be celebrated during the 7th Annual Copper City Classic Vintage base Ball Tournament held at historic Warren Ballpark in Bisbee.

Although best known as a football player for the Arizona Wildcats during the 1920s, “Button” Salmon was also a star catcher for the U of A varsity baseball team and played at Warren Ballpark for Bisbee on its “outlaw league” team during the summer of 1926.

Fatally injured in a traffic accident at the beginning of the 1926 college football season, Salmon urged his teammates to “Bear Down” in a final message.

Members of Button Salmon’s family will be on hand to honor his memory, as will be University of Arizona Vice President for Athletics Greg Byrne.

Also to be honored is Hal Chase, considered to be the finest first baseman in major league baseball ball during the early 20th century. “Prince Hal” first appeared at Warren Ballpark in November 1913, as a member of John McGraw’s New York Giants, traveling across the country and around the globe during the historic 1913-1914 World Tour by the Giants and Chicago White Sox. He returned to Warren Ballpark on numerous occasions as an outlaw league player and manager during the 1920s.

Hal Chase III and Pat “Guitar Slim” Chase, grandsons of Hal Chase, and other members of the Chase family will be in attendance during the tournament. They will discuss their grandfather’s storied baseball career during our Saturday night musical event.

Dates: Saturday and Sunday April 16 and 17, 2016 at the Historic Warren Ballpark in Bisbee, Arizona. Gates will open at 9:00 a.m. on both days. Games will be played all day. Watch teams play by 1860 rules in old-time uniforms by rules in effect when Abraham Lincoln was president. Cheer for the local team, the Bisbee Black Sox.

Cost: Two-day ticket: $15 / One-day ticket: $10 / Ages 12 and under free with adult ticket

U of A students, employees of the U of A and members of the U of A Alumni Association will receive a $3 discount on any tickets purchased and will also receive a 50 percent discount on the first craft beer purchased at our concession stand.

Added attraction: 6:30 P.M. Saturday Night Post Game Blues at the Stock Exchange Saloon and Grill: James T. “Mudcat” Grant, major baseball pitching ace and noted blues singer, will return to Warren Ballpark to sign autographs and meet fans during the tournament. Mudcat will be joined by the Cholla High School Blues Standard, Pat ‘Guitar Slim’ Chase, Arizona Blues Legend Hans Olson and noted Tucson Blues performers the Garcia Brothers.

The Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament is an annual event held by the Friends of Warren Ballpark to generate funds for maintaining and renovating the Bisbee Unified School District’s historic 107-year-old multi-sport athletic facility.