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Mesa sets January opening for Cubs Park

The new field at Cubs Park is shown. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

MESA, Ariz. -- A little over a month from now, baseball fans can get their first look at the new spring training home of the Chicago Cubs in Mesa.

It'll happen during the grand opening celebration of the new Cubs Park.

"It's called Double Play at the Park," said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. "It'll be Jan. 25 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a formal dedication ceremony at 5:30."

Smith said the event will be a lot of fun.

"We'll have tours of the Riverview Park, of the stadium and of the Cubs training complex."

Riverview Park is part of the area that will include restaurants and is part of the area known as Wrigleyville West.

"When we set out to develop this, we didn't want to build just a stadium that has limited use," said Smith. "We wanted to build an experience that would not only be year-round, and that people can enjoy whether you're going to a game or not. I think will the citizens of Mesa will have an opportunity to see how well we did."

Smith said that he thinks people will like what they see. He said that more details about the grand opening will be announced later.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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