3/25 Goodbye to HoHoKam

The Cubs are wrapping up their season at HoHoKam Stadium, and I asked fans to submit memories of the ballpark. Here’s one fan’s story:

“I have so many memories over the years from the old HoHoKam Park to the ‘new’ HoHoKam park. The day I helped Gene Autry up the steps at the old park along with J.D. Hayworth, who was a sports writer at the time. Going to games with my Dad. He passed away in 1995 and we buried him across the street with a Cubs hat signed by Ernie Banks. I kept his Cubs hat and included a little poem I wrote about it when he died. Sitting next to then Gov. Rose Mofford and catching a foul ball that she signed for me. I attended many games with former Cub pitcher Bob Rush and he told me countless stories about the early days of spring training in Mesa. The day Harry Caray sat next to me in the stands. I still have the ball he signed for me. That day in March 1993 when Mike Jackson broke Ryne Sandberg’s hand with a inside pitch and the brawl that
followed. Seeing Dwight Patterson sitting in the ticket booth greeting fans. I brought a ball one day hoping to get Sammy Sosa to sign it for me. I was not successful and I asked Dwight Patterson if he would sign it for me. He did and I treasure that ball to this day. Bob Rush threw out the last first pitch at the old park and he gave me the ball for my birthday. The day they started tearing the original HoHoKam down. I still have two of the blocks from the dugout wall in my garage. Talking with Robert Brinton about the day he met Ken Hubbs. He signed a ball for Robert that day and he treasured that ball for the rest of his life. Riding with Ron Santo in the elevator and stopping to talk about the team for a couple of minutes. Getting my picture taken with Ernie Banks on the field. Spending time with Ron Santo at the park 10/09/10. He was in his usual great spirits and it was a shock when he passed on a few weeks later. There are many more but these memories are the ones I treasure most. I am looking forward to all of the new memories from the new park but will always remember the park on Center street.” — Mike Stoker, Mesa, AZ

1 Comment

A beautiful post! I love hearing all the memories. Mamma Mia – it is time for you to tell the story of your memories at HoHoKam. I know that you could fill a book with all that you have seen and all the players you have met and chatted with. Please, please give us your memories, too.

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