Mesa Mayor John Giles needs to crack open his spring-training history books.
Mesa's not the only Valley city with a history of hosting the Chicago Cubs.
In an op-ed published on Wednesday in the Arizona Republic, Giles brags about the Cubs' long history in Mesa since 1952.
The article's part of a Republic series asking "Valley leaders to share their take on events that will happen in 2017, including playing host to the World Series-winning Chicago Cubs during spring training."
Talk about a softball topic for Giles, mayor to the city that hosts the Cubs' spring training!
In "How Mesa is capturing the Chicago Cubs' magic this year," Giles pens an exuberant response, inviting readers to "smell the peanuts, Chicago dogs, and freshly cut grass." He goes into a bit of detail of the baseball team's history in Arizona:
"The Mesa-Cubs partnership dates to the days of President Dwight Eisenhower," he writes. "The Cubs first arrived in Mesa to play ball at Rendezvous Park in 1952. Since then, millions of fans have taken the trip to Rendezvous Park, Hohokam Stadium, and now Sloan Park to catch a game or two while soaking up the Arizona sun.
The team and the city have had a long-standing relationship with a rich history in working together to support youth sports, tourism and the community. For Mesa, the Cubs' thrilling World Series win was more than 60 years in the making. And we are proud to have played a role in it."
It seems the mayor had a senior moment in rattling off those stadiums and dates.
Between 1967 and 1978, the Cubs moved to sunny Scottsdale, at the old Scottsdale Stadium. A renovated version of the same stadium now hosts the San Francisco Giants.
Many people who lived in the area, or attended games while visiting Scottsdale, back in the late '60s and '70s look on that period with fondness.
As reported on ScottsdaleAirpark.com, for example:
"Scottsdale, the Charros, and Chicago fans welcomed the Chicago Cubs as the new spring residents of the Scottsdale ballpark in March 1967. California Gov. Ronald Reagan attended a game that year, as did his mother-in-law, Edith Davis.
"Cubs manager Leo Durocher and players like Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Fergie Jenkins, and Billy Williams drew big crowds to the expanded 4,200-seat ballpark."
The end of Cubs' training in Scottsdale came when the Cubs felt they'd outgrown the old stadium — a commonplace complaint among teams looking for new infusions of public cash.
Mesa lost the Cubs to Scottsdale in 1967 because of a Wrigley family spat, according to a 1979 Chicago Tribune article.
Sure, Mesa's had the Cubs for long time, but the 11 years that the team was in Scottsdale shouldn't be forgotten.
Especially by someone who should know better.
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