Chicago Cubs - Spring Training History

Spring Training History

The Cubs spring training facility is located in Mesa, Arizona, where they play in the Cactus League. The club plays its games at HoHoKam Park, Dwight Patterson Field. "HoHoKam" is literally translated from Native American as "those who vanished." The park seats just under 13,567, and the Cubs annually sell out most of their games both at home and on the road. The Northsiders have called Mesa their spring home for most seasons since 1952. In addition to Mesa, the club has held spring training in Champaign, Illinois (1901–02, 1906); Los Angeles (1903–04, 1948–1949), Santa Monica, California (1905); New Orleans (1907, 1911–1912); Vicksburg, Miss. (1908); Hot Springs, Arkansas (1909–1910); Tampa (1913–1916); Pasadena, Cal. (1917–1921); Santa Catalina Island, California (1922–1942, 1946–1947, 1950–1951); French Lick, Indiana (1943–1945); Mesa (1952–1965, 1979–present); Long Beach, California (1966); and Scottsdale, Arizona (1967–1978).

The curious location on Catalina Island stemmed from Cubs owner William Wrigley Jr.'s then-majority interest in the island in 1919. Wrigley constructed a ballpark on the island to house the Cubs in spring training: it was built to the same dimensions as Wrigley Field. (The ballpark is long gone, but a clubhouse built by Wrigley to house the Cubs exists as the Catalina County Club.) However by 1951 the team chose to leave Catalina Island and spring training was shifted to Mesa, Arizona. The Cubs' 30-year association with Catalina is chronicled in the book, The Cubs on Catalina, by Jim Vitti . . . which was named International 'Book of the Year' by The Sporting News.

The current location in Mesa is actually the second HoHoKam Park; the first was built in 1976 as the spring-training home of the Oakland Athletics who left the park in 1979. Apart from HoHoKam Park the Cubs also have another Mesa training facility called Fitch Park, this complex provides 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) of team facilities, including major league clubhouse, four practice fields, one practice infield, enclosed batting tunnels, batting cages, a maintenance facility, and administrative offices for the Cubs.

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