It took 108 years, but the 2016 World Series Trophy finally arrived in Mesa on Feb. 24 at Sloan Field. The Chicago Cubs kicked off an event to show off the trophy and celebrate winning the World Series and the opening of Cactus League spring training baseball.
Approximately 5,000 fans crowded the lawn in front of the stadium to see the trophy and to hear from Cub’s Manager Joe Maddon and several of the championship team members. Many fans arrived several hours before the start of the event for the opportunity to take a picture with the trophy. While waiting, the fans enjoyed ballpark food, music, and the chance to purchase the very few remaining tickets for Cubs spring training games.
The event was highlighted by comments from Mesa Mayor John “the Glove” Giles and Maddon. Giles spoke about the long relationship between the Cubs and the Mesa community. A relationship that reaches back to the establishment of the Cactus League. The mayor expressed the pride the Mesa community has in Sloan Filed and the Wrigleyville West entertainment area. He concluded his remarks by presenting the Key to The City to Maddon.
Maddon seemed humbled by the thunderous round of applause that greeted him during the ceremony. He commented about how important Mesa is to the Cubs organization and to him personally. Maddon lived in Mesa for several years early in his career. His daughter and grandchildren still live in Mesa.
Madden ended his remarks by introducing team members and unveiling the 2016 World Series Trophy. It was obvious by the crowd response that this was what they came to see. This was the only stop in Arizona for the trophy as it tours the country.
– Ted Wendel is staff photographer for MyNewsMesa.com.