Adaptive Architects – February 2019
Spring Training Returns
Greetings from Adaptive Architects -
And welcome to February. We've been busy working on projects and are well into construction administration for the new Roosevelt Water Conservation District headquarters and the Able Engineering expansion . We’re grateful to work with great clients and contractors!
Spring Training is here - one of the valley's signature events that draws attendees from across the country. Baseball is in Mesa's DNA, but it's also big business. Did you know the Cactus League has grown to 15 teams with 10 ballparks in 8 cities? According to Playball 2019 - The Best of Arizona Spring Training by AZ Big Media, 1.8 million fans attended games in 2018, and Arizona's economy gained $644 million from the league, based on a study by ASU's WP Carey School of Business. And Mesa played a key role in bringing Cactus League baseball to the valley. It's a fascinating history...
Baseball's History in Mesa & Arizona
Rendezvous Park Baseball Field, Mesa 1935
Image Credit & Content Reference: Connor Hillmann, “Rendezvous Park,” 
Salt River Stories, accessed 02.15.2019
Mesa has embraced baseball for over 100 years, beginning when city founders built a park in what is now downtown Mesa in 1895. B y 1912, the park offered fields for use by the community's popular baseball league. This was significant, because as early as 1909, pro baseball teams traveling home from spring training in California would ‘barnstorm’ across Arizona, meaning they would play exhibition games against local teams like Mesa’s as they travelled across the state...and baseball continued to grow in popularity. 
The Detroit Tigers were the first pro team to train in Arizona (Phoenix) for one season in 1929. In 1947 the Cleveland Indians (Tucson) and the New York Giants (east of Mesa) would establish long-term pre-season training camps in Arizona. They were joined by the Chicago Cubs in 1952, who made Rendezvous Park their new spring-training home. When the Cubs relocated to Scottsdale for 12 years in 1966, Mesa recruited the Kansas City Athletics to reside at Rendezvous Park from 1967 until 1975. Notably, the KC Athletics won the 1973, 1974 and 1975 World Series during this time!
In 1976, Rendezvous Park was retired and demolished, then replaced by HoHoKam Park in 1977. The now Oakland Athletics remained at HoHoKam Park until 1979; and then the Cubs moved back to Mesa. The Cubs have been in Mesa ever since, and with great fanfare in 2014 they moved to their new stadium in Mesa, Sloan Park - and subsequently won the 2016 World Series. And with a perfect fairy tale ending, the City of Mesa welcomed the Oakland Athletics back to Mesa at the remodeled HoHoKam Park in 2015 , where they will reside until 2035.   
Chicago Cubs' Sloan Park - Image Credit: K atherine Fritcke / KJZZ
Chicago Cubs' Field at Sloan Park - Image & Video Credit: Visit Mesa
The “Father of Cactus League Baseball”
and the Mesa HoHoKams
Dwight Patterson, a young rancher in Mesa, was determined to bring pro-baseball to Mesa. He worked with Mesa's Mayor Virgil Crismon and Bill Asher, VP of Valley National Bank to entice the Oakland Oaks in 1950 to train in Mesa for one year. The men formed the Mesa HoHoKams to promote major league baseball in 1951, and Dwight Patterson led the group in convincing the Chicago Cubs to leave California and make Mesa their spring training home. After the Cubs arrival in 1952, other teams followed and established the Cactus League. For this reason, Dwight Patterson is known as the father of Cactus League baseball in the valley. In fact, until the Cubs moved to their new stadium in 2015, HoHoKam Park was known as Dwight Patterson Field to honor the determined efforts of this inspired leader.
Dwight Patterson Image Credit & Content Reference: Connor Hillmann, “Rendezvous Park” 
Salt River Stories, accessed 02.15.2019
Signage at HoHoKam Park, Mesa
Image Credit & Content Reference:
Connor Hillmann, “Hohokam Park " 
Salt River Stories, accessed 02.15.2019
The Mesa HoHoKams continue this legacy today as a community-based service organization that maintains a strong commitment to the success of the spring training games in Mesa.  Members volunteer their time at spring training games at HoHoKam Park and at Sloan Park. They help park cars, sell and collect tickets at park entrances, help fans locate their seats, and sell programs. Besides working at the spring training games in Mesa, you'll also find Mesa HoHoKams in the community promoting key sporting events and other charitable missions.
Oakland Athletics' HoHoKam Park - Image Credit: Gensler
Mesa’s Historic Buckhorn Baths:
Key to Establishing the Cactus League?
Ted and Alice Sliger bought property to the east of Mesa in 1936 and subsequently discovered a 112 degree hot spring on-site in 1939. By 1946, the married couple offered a bathhouse and guest rooms for up to 75 guests.  That same year, Bill Veeck, owner of the Cleveland Indians and a guest ranch south of Phoenix, brought his team to Tucson for pre-season training. Eager for some friendly competition, Bill convinced New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham to visit Phoenix to evaluate it for their spring training. Legend has it, the Sliger's facility sealed the deal. When Horace discovered their motel, he decided Phoenix and specifically the Buckhorn Baths Motel offered the perfect health and spa services his players needed. So this historic relic of the west became the official home base for the New York Giants spring training camp - and set the stage for the thriving Cactus League as we know it today!
Buckhorn Baths Motel, Mesa Arizona
Image Credit: Johanna Huckeba / The Republic. Content Reference: Mark Simonitis, “Buckhorn Baths Motel” Salt River Stories, accessed 02.15.2019.
 The exposure the New York Giants brought to Buckhorn Baths was considerable, and soon other baseball players, movie stars and celebrities became regular guests. Even John F. Kennedy (prior to his presidency), was rumored to spend time at Buckhorn. Arguably, the greatest benefactor of Buckhorn Baths' notariety is the residents of the Valley of the Sun, because today we all benefit from our much loved spring training. And the Buckhorn Baths Motel is widely credited as being key to establishing Arizona's Cactus League Baseball legacy. And for that, we can all be grateful. Play ball!
We'll be back for more in March,
have a great month!