This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
• Welcome to Mesa • Hospitality the HoHoKam Way • Cubs in Mesa • The Voice of HoHoKam • Big League Dreams • Cactus League Exhibition
Welcome to Mesa - Page 3
Hospitality the HoHoKam Way - Page 5
The Cubs in Mesa - Page 6
The Voice of HoHoKam Park - Page 9
Big League Dreams - Page 11
100 Years of Baseball History Unveiled - Page 13
Tim O’Riley is the editor-in-chief of Wrigleyville Magazine and also keeps fans posted on all things Cubs year-round on his Facebook page, Between the Vines (http://facebook.com/ betweenthevines). His Facebook page for Wrigleyville Magazine is http://www.facebook.com/ WrigleyvilleMagazine. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/WrigleyMagazine and http:// twitter.com/CubsStories. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to Mesa
Mesa has a rich history that began around 2000 years ago with the pre-historic Indian civilization known as the Hohokam, a dynasty that began around 1 A.D. and lasted until about 1450 A.D. The areas included central and southern Arizona along the Gila and Salt Rivers. The Hohokams were agriculturally orientated and were savvy engineers who built hundreds of miles of irrigation canals for crops such as corn, beans, squash, and agave. They also made stone pottery, tools and wove cotton textiles. Since they had no form of writing, they are not considered a true civilization according to archaeologists, but the political and social systems appear to have been quite complex. It is not known what happened to the Hohokams and various theories have been proposed including migration back to Mexico, that they evolved into the Tohon Chul (formerly known as the Pima) and/or Tohono O’odham (formerly known as the Papago), or that the culture was a mixture of ethnic groups that operated under a single cultural, social and economic system. Much is still not known about this ancient culture, but more information can be found at the Mesa library, or the Mesa Historical Museum.
Spanish missionaries and explorers were the next group of people in and around this region in the 1500-1600. There were no settlers until the late 1800’s, when a group of Mormon settlers came from Utah. The early canals from the Hohokam civilization were discovered and put to use to irrigate farm land. In 1883 the town was incorporated as Mesa City. The area remained a farming community with cotton and citrus being the major crops; however, there was also livestock, dairy, and poultry farming through the 1960’s. In 1941 the town population was only 7000, but with the advent of World War II, there were two air fields constructed around Mesa. Falcon Field, now Falcon Field Airport, was built for the British pilots of the Royal Air Force. Williams Field was built for American pilots and later became Williams Air
Apache Trail Tours – Courtesy of Apache Trail Tours
Horseback Riding Across the Verde River – Courtesy of Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitmesa.com)
Force Base. The Air Force base closed in 1993, but became Williams Gateway Airport in 1994. The airport is now known as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Baseball and the Cactus League provides fans from around the county with
Las Sendas Golf Club - Courtesy of Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitmesa.com)
the opportunity to travel to the area and experience many other outdoor leisure activities available including hiking, boating, fishing, horseback riding, and golf. For more information about activities available, please refer to the 2011 Mesa Visitors Guide, provided by the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau, featuring a number of things to do while in Mesa by clicking here. If action and adventure is more suited to your tastes, this guide offers many interesting day trips, excursions and other places to visit. If you’re looking for something to do indoors, well then, Mesa has you covered again. Visit the Arizona Museum of Natural History, which has the largest dinosaur exhibit west of the Mississippi. The Mesa Historical Museum has exhibits on the Cactus League, World War II aviation and the history of Mesa. The Arizona Youth Museum has interactive displays and hands on activities for children, voted one of the nation’s best museums for children. The Mesa Arts Center hosts four theaters, five art galleries, and fourteen visual and performing arts studios and classrooms. - Kim O’Riley
Arizona Museum of Natural History – Courtesy of Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitmesa.com)
Kayaking - Courtesy of Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitmesa.com)
Superstition Mountains – Mark Mabry
“Bearly Fishing” sculpture – Courtesy of Downtown Mesa Association
DECADES OF SPRING TRAINING, GENERATIONS OF COMMUNITY GIVING
More than 50 years ago, a handful of public-spirited citizens created an organization to bring Major League baseball to Mesa in the spring of each year to train and prepare for the upcoming season. They called themselves the HoHoKams.
Those founders came from many professions including banking, the legal profession, ranching, journalism, and retail business. They all gave their professional talents to create Spring Training in Mesa, and to support youth sports in the Mesa area, just like they do today. It was the beloved Chicago Cubs that made Mesa a true Spring Training town with their arrival in 1952. Through the years, Cubs’ fans continue to be a phenomenon. For nearly three decades they have led the Cactus League in attendance and continue to break their home attendance record year over year. Because of this outstanding support, dozens of Mesa and East Valley youth charities have received many thousands of dollars annually. In 2010, the HoHoKam Foundation provided nearly $185,000 in grants to dozens of youth sports organizations throughout Mesa including the East Valley YMCA and Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley. They also support numerous junior-high and high-school athletic programs
Hospitality the HoHoKam Way:
Bronze Statues of Kids Playing Ball Outside Main Gate at HoHoKam
throughout Mesa through much-needed funds and volunteer service. Monies raised by the HoHoKams and Spring Training are also dedicated for annual stadium improvements. Generations of HoHoKams have donned the iconic red shirt and displayed the treasured bolo tie with honor and pride. Today, the HoHoKams are comprised of nearly 200 community leaders who volunteer their time just like their founders to ensure your Spring Training experience in Mesa is enjoyable. By any measure the HoHoKams are an exceptionally successful volunteer organization. Each member knows what job needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how to do it. Each member is there from love of the organization, love of Mesa, love of baseball, and love of the Cubs. For more information about the HoHoKams and the work they do click here. - Michelle Streeter
HoHoKam Park a/k/a Dwight W. Patterson Field
The Cubs in Mesa:
Past, Present, & Future
Every year, all over the country, baseball fans look to Arizona and Florida for the first signs of spring. They’re not waiting on a forecast from a groundhog in Pennsylvania or for cherry blossoms to begin to flower in our nation’s capital; they’re waiting for the day when pitchers and catchers report to their respective spring training facilities. This, for every baseball fan in America, is the unequivocal first sign of spring.
Since 1979, Mesa has been the only spring training home that the Chicago Cubs have known. The team first came to Mesa in 1952 but moved to Long Beach, CA in 1966 and from there to Scottsdale from 1967 through 1978. The Cubs returned to Mesa in 1979 and have been there ever since. With the passage of Proposition 420 in November of last year, they have assured the Mesa community that they will remain there for many springs to come.
Basking in the Sun on the Berm - Courtesy of Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitmesa.com)
In 1952, Dwight W. Patterson, a well-known Mesa rancher and builder, got together with 34 other members of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce to form a “special events” committee to try to bring major league baseball to Mesa. They called themselves the HoHoKams and Patterson would become the group’s first Chief Big Ho, or leader. In much the same way as the ancient HoHoKams were instrumental in bringing irrigation to the “Valley of the Sun”, the newly formed group was instrumental in bringing the Cubs to Mesa. From 1952 until the Cubs left in 1965, the Cubs played their home spring train-
ing games at Rendezvous Park. It originally seated 3,000 but was quickly expanded to accommodate Cubs fans who made the “pilgrimage” to spring training each year. Rendezvous Park was torn down in 1976 and the first HoHoKam Park was built at Fitch Field for the Oakland A’s. The A’s were not a very popular draw for Mesa though so they left shortly thereafter, making way for the Cubs to return in 1979. In 1991, the name of the park was officially changed to Dwight W. Patterson Field but, following spring training in 1996, the park was demolished in favor of a new, expanded facility. The Dwight W. Patterson Field, or HoHoKam Park, that we know today opened in the spring of 1997. The capacity of the current stadium is officially listed as 13,100 including “the berm”, or the lawn seating beyond the outfield fence. The dimensions of the field are: 340 feet to left, 411 feet to center, 350 feet to right, and 385 feet to both alleys. The Cubs hold both the Cactus League single game (13,462 in 2010) and single season record (203,105 in 2009) for attendance. The Cubs will break ground on a brand new 15,000 seat stadium, including the berm area, complete with state-of-the-art training and rehabilitation facilities later this year. The team also has plans for a commercial development around the facilities dubbed “Wrigleyville West” by team officials. Thanks to the overwhelming passage of Proposition 420 this past November by Mesa voters, it looks like the Cubs and the residents of Mesa will enjoy a long relationship well into the future.
The “Green Monster” of HoHoKam
- Tim O’Riley
The Voice of HoHoKam Park
For the past 27 years, Tim Sheridan has been the “voice of HoHoKam Park”. Undoubtedly, if you’ve been to Cubs spring training at any time since 1984, then you’ve heard the sound of his voice. Tim’s association with the Cubs began when the HoHoKams went to Mesa Community College in search of “anyone who wanted to help with Cubs spring training”. Tim, being the avid baseball fan that he is, jumped at the opportunity. From his first days being around the Cubs at Old Hohokam Park in 1984,
Tim was hooked as a Cubs fan. “When spring training ended,” Tim says, “I followed the Cubs and Harry Caray on WGN through that magical season, as they won the first division title in 39 years. That really cemented me as a Cubs fan for life!” From 1984 through 1988, Tim shared the duty of PA announcer with another student. In 1989, Tim received a phone call from his fellow student/P.A. partner who was announcing horse racing in Tucson. The call came a half hour before the Cubs 1989 spring opener telling Tim he couldn’t make the 100 mile drive from Tucson and “If you want to announce all the Cubs games, it’s yours”. Once again, Tim jumped at the chance. The rest, as they say, is history. Tim, a native Minnesotan, came to Mesa as a young boy when his family moved there to get away from the frigid Minnesota winters. He has lived in Mesa ever since, except for a five year period when he lived in Tempe. He says the Minnesota/Arizona weather is a tradeoff: the harsh winters for the heat of the summer. “But,” he adds jokingly, “you don’t have to shovel the heat!”
Harry Caray and Tim Sheridan – Courtesy of Boys of Spring (boysofspring.com)
HoHoKam Park has become such a big part of Tim’s life that he and his wife, Theresa, were actually married there in the fall of 2005. Their ceremony took place on the third base patio with their reception following on the first base patio. According to Tim, the sunny skies, along with the 80 degree temperature was “perfect for a November wedding”. (Try that one in Chicago in November!)
Tim’s responsibilities as the HoHoKam PA announcer are plentiful enough to keep him busy. They include pregame announcements and ceremonies, reading advertisements and “giveaway” winners’ names between innings, and lost children along with other emergency announcements, as needed. Probably the greatest challenge that Tim faces during a game though is trying to keep up with all of the moves on the field. If you’ve been to spring training, or even watched it on TV or listened to it on the radio, you know that, throughout the games, there are many, many substitutions. Couple that with players wearing duplicate uniform numbers and you’ve got the makings for a PA announcer’s nightmare. Tim used to handle all of this by himself until he instituted an internship program about five years ago. Now, while he’s busy with his between-innings duties, interns try to keep up with the changes and get them back to Tim in time to read before the next batter.
The blog on his site tells the stories that his camera lens is unable to, thus enabling us to have the clearest picture possible of how the Cubs look prior to the upcoming season. Also on the site, he has the Cubs spring training schedule, a seating chart for HoHoKam, tips for spring training games (best places to get autographs, best place to catch a souvenir ball, which gate opens first, easiest access to concessions, etc.), and much, much more. Tim knows that some families come to spring training for more than “just baseball” so he has tried to give fans an idea of what they can expect to see and do when they come to the Grand Canyon state whether it’s for spring training, spring break, retirement, or just a well-deserved vacation . To see what he has in mind, don’t pass up the “AZ Fun” tab on his web site. Don’t let the desert title fool you either, there’s much more to Arizona than sand and cacti!
Like other Cubs fans, Tim loves interacting with other Cubs fans, so this past year, he’s joined the “social media When he’s not in the booth revolution” and added a Faat the ballpark, Tim owns cebook page “Boys of Spring – and runs his own video proWrigleyville West” (which you can duction company, drawing from access by clicking here) and has takhis time spent with the local Fox afen Boys of Spring to Twitter as well (click filiate station, KSAZ. While with KSAZ, here for Tim’s Boys of Spring TwitTim worked on a morning news/enTim Sheridan in his “Friendly Confines” – Courtesy of Boys of Spring (boysofspring.com) ter page). tertainment show. He left to pursue a lifelong dream of owning and running Tim Sheridan, a fixture at Cubs spring training for more his own business. than a quarter of a century, probably sums up his feelIn addition to his video production business, Tim con- ings about what he does best: “It’s been an incredible siders himself “the eyes and ears of Cubs fans who journey, all the friends I’ve made, the HoHoKams, the can’t be at spring training”. He started his own website, Cubs fans, the season ticket holders---let’s just put it now in its seventh year, called Boys of Spring (http:// this way---it’s very, very rare that I’ve met someone boysofspring.com), where Cubs fans from around the who wasn’t a really nice person or having a great time world can come to keep up with the team from the time at spring training. It’s more than just who wins and who pitchers and catchers begin showing up until the Cubs loses; it’s the whole atmosphere in a more intimate enhave left the desert to embark on the regular season. vironment. It’s just a joy to be there, I love it, and as long His passion for the Cubs, along with his on-field access as they’ll have me, I’ll show up and keep doing it.” and his video/photography background, gives Cubs fans a unique and in-depth look into the real “goings- It sounds like Wrigleyville has indeed grown in a westerly direction. on” inside of spring training camp. - Tim O’Riley
Big League Dreams
Rogers Hornsby once said, “People ask me what I do in winter bilt, Flaherty became a housewhen there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the win- hold name. In 2007, his last year dow and wait for spring.” Well, spring is here and so are the Cubs. at Vanderbilt, he played for Team
During his three years at Vander-
USA at the Pan Am Games and Spring training is just the beginning of a long journey for some players. was a second-team All American. Ryan Flaherty is returning to Arizona for his third spring training but for In 2009, he led all Cubs minor him the journey is a lot longer. Even though it is his third spring train- leaguers in home runs and was ranked the number nine prospect ing, Flaherty will be attending minor league camp. in the farm system. Flaherty is just one examFlaherty said spring training is a different experience but it all goes back to his first spring training in 2008. “I was injured so that made it ple of the young guys out at Fitch difficult; being my first time,” Flaherty said, “but it was great meeting Park who are trying to break into all the players and coaches that I have played with for the past few the big leagues. But watching the young ones grow and develop years.” into stars is something that Tim Tyler Colvin, 2008 - Courtesy of Boys of Spring (boysofspring.com Sheridan cherishes. Sheridan has been the Public Address announcer at Hohokam Park since 1984, he became full-time in 1989. He has definitely seen his fair share of prospects grow and develop in the system, the most recent one being, Tyler Colvin. Sheridan recalled seeing Colvin for
the first time and couldn’t believe how much power he had considering his size. Last year, he recalled seeing Colvin and said he added about 21 pounds. Colvin became the prime example of prospects flying through the system as he finished the 2009 season with Double A Tennessee, went to Mesa in 2010, and broke camp a major league ballplayer. Not all stories have happy endings like Colvin’s and Sheridan has seen some guys not develop as planned. “I have seen them when they didn’t develop,” said Sheridan, “they were trying to replace Ron Santo at third base forever for the Cubs and they could never find that guy.” Sheridan said for years the Cubs had guys that had guys
come in and just couldn’t live up “When it’s cold and snowy in Chito the potential. cago and we have green grass and blue skies and 75, 80 deSeeing prospects isn’t all what grees here, there really isn’t anySheridan enjoys about spring thing better in my book,” Sheridan training. He writes a blog called said. “Boys of Spring” and has been documenting spring training since - Maren Angus February 2005. “I just like documenting things here because I’m here,” said Sheridan, “I have always had cameras with me and it’s a natural thing I have done.”
100 Years of Baseball History Unveiled
Play Ball! The Cactus League Experience runs Feb. 25, 2011 through August, 7, 2011 at the Arizona Museum for Youth in downtown Mesa, less than a mile south from Hohokam Stadium. The exhibit chronicles the 60-plus year history of major league baseball spring training in Mesa Arizona from the barnstorming days before statehood to the inauguration of the Cactus League in 1947 to the present day with the announcement of a new spring training facility planned in Mesa and the adjoining Wrigleyville West development.
Arizona has a rich history to share and incredible stories to tell baseball fans young and old. Ty Cobb once soothed his old spring training aches and pains at the Buckhorn Baths mineral spas in Mesa. Willie Mays was the first to hit a homer at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. And Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio played one season of spring training baseball together in Arizona. “The Play Ball exhibition is phenomenal in that it combines historical memorabilia with fun, interactive displays that will appeal to all ages,” Cactus League Past President Robert Brinton said. “It pays tribute to the pioneer days of the Cactus League while focusing on today’s accomplishments.” Baseball fans and history buffs alike will have the opportunity to set their sights on never-before-seen items gathered from private collections of Arizonans who knew the likes of Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Reggie Jackson, Bob Feller and Willie McCovey. Guests at the museum can participate in a cell phone talking tour of the exhibition; engage in touch screen kiosks for added historical content; construct a three-dimensional puzzle to build their own stadium; and even enjoy Nintendo Wii stations with simulated versions of baseball. Children can also participate in the interactive displays including replica vintage baseball uniforms for dress-up and make your own trading card stations. The expanded exhibition also features numerous donated items including a uniform from the early 1900s, a rare autographed Ernie Banks little league bat, and signed memorabilia from former Cactus League stars including Reggie Jackson, Mark Grace, Gaylord
Gaylord Perry: Mineral Bath - Courtesy of Mesa Historical Society
Perry and Bob Feller. On display is the original massage table and weight scale from Arizona’s Buckhorn Mineral Baths used for player conditioning in the early days of spring training and an installation describing the story of how former Arizona Governor Rose Mofford saved Cactus League baseball for the state in the late 1980s. Play Ball! The Cactus League Experience will be on display at two locations:
Arizona Museum for Youth – Opens Feb. 25, 2011 and runs through Aug. 4, 2011
35 N. Robson St., Downtown Mesa 480-644-2467, www.arizonamuseumforyouth.com Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Tuesday through Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $6.50 for one year and older and is free for museum members and children younger than one. There is a group rate of $5.
Arizona Historical Society – Papago Park Museum – Opens Feb. 19, 2011 and runs through 2013
1300 N. College Avenue Tempe, AZ 85281 480-929-9499, www.arizonahistoricalsociety.org Hours: Tues. – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun. noon – 4 p.m.General Admission: Adults $5; Ages 60+ $4; Ages 12-18 $4; Ages 11 and younger free. For more information, click on www.playballexperience.com or www.arizonamuseumforyouth.com. - Michelle Streeter
There will never be another Ernie Banks. Nineteen-year career. Two-time MVP. 512 home runs. 1,009 extra base hits. 2,528 games played. 9,421 at-bats. But one of Mr. Ba n k’s
1994 Windy City Ball
EVER FILL ERNIE BANK ILL S’ S EW HO N E OO
but a mailman did fill his hat.
hat. The hat he played ball in. The hat he would wear on his way to the Hall of Fame. On this day it would become,
1953 Cubs Fan
with the urging of Mrs. Banks, the hat his mailman would wear on his daily route. Every day. Until the day he retired.
Hank Sauer, Ernie Banks, Monte Irvin - 1956
best per for m a nces
occurred on a hot summer day in the friendly conﬁ nes of his front yard. It was there he,
Not so much t o keep t he
his wife and his mailman stood chatting i n the swelteri ng su m mer su n w ith but one hat between them. That hat was Mr. Banks’ baseball
s u n of f h i s f a c e b ut a s t o s ho w h i s admiration for Mr. Sunshine. For exhibit and program details, visit us at playballexperience.com.
1300 NORTH COLLEGE AVENUE TEMPE
480-929-9499 « 35 NORTH ROBSON STREET MESA
480-644-2468 « SKY HARBOR AIRPORT TERMINAL 4
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.