The Chicago Cubs aren’t called “The Lovable Losers” for nothing.
However, when it comes to spring training, they’re one of the biggest draws in the Cactus League. Even with their 103-year World Series drought, they continually sell out their games and have set attendance records at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa for years.
With a new vice president of baseball operations (Theo Epstein) and new manager (Dale Sveum), the Cubs are optimistic about the 2012 season. Fans in the Windy City are hoping that the dynamic duo of Epstein and Sveum can help snap the Cubs’ unlucky losing streak once and for all.
Some notable players in Cubs’ lineup at Hohokam this spring inlcude Geovany Soto, Alfonso Soriano, Kerry Wood, Carlos Pena and Marion Byrd. Additions include pitchers Travis Wood and Chris Volstad, third baseman Ian Stewart and outfielder Dave Sappelt.
The Chicago Cubs are scheduled to play 16 home games at Hohokam, 17 road games in Arizona and two games against Texas in Las Vegas. The Cubs wrap up spring training on April 3 at Hohokam against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cubs were once known as the Chicago White Stockings, then became members of the National League in 1876. This makes them one of the oldest active major sports teams among those in North America. The first game they played was April 25 of that same year.
In 1907, the Cubs won their first World Series against the Detroit Tigers. They won their second and last World Series in 1908 in a rematch against Detroit.
The Cubs have trained in Mesa since 1952. Back then Hohokam Park was called Rendezvous Park, which was less than ideal in accommodating the players. However, the new state-of-the-art Hohokam Stadium took its place. Since then the Cubs have played their games at Hohokam as a member of the Cactus League.
Hohokam was built in 1997 and seats 13,074 fans. An interesting fact about this 48-acre stadium is that its scoreboard is the largest in the Cactus League, measuring a whopping 12 by 16 feet. The stadium features one practice field and one practice infield, with additional training facilities at Fitch Park that include four practice fields, one practice infield and a 25,000 square-foot clubhouse.
So grab your Cracker Jacks and baseball mitts, practice your rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” and get ready for an exciting spring training. Who knows, maybe if we keep cheering. our “Lovable Losers” on they might just get a name change.