Inside the low-slung stadium, it's easy to feel close to the action. The best seats in the house --- those in the field box section --- cost just $28 apiece. A spot on the berm, where you can practically chat with the outfielders, runs $8.
As the afternoon settles into its final innings, the beer vendors hawk a final round of Old Style and glance over their shoulders at the scoreboard. The light that washes over the stadium takes on a golden hue. That's when it feels like, every now and then, life presents us with a perfect moment.
The sun is warm. The beer is cold. And miraculously, the Cubs beat the Padres 9-3.
Where to stay
A mile from Hohokam Stadium, the Phoenix Marriott Mesa is a newly renovated high-rise hotel with a Cubs baseball package rate that includes a standard room and grandstand seats for two.
Located in the Mesa Riverview shopping center, the Hyatt Place at Mesa Riverview is surrounded by shops and restaurants and will enjoy an even better home advantage when the new stadium opens in Riverside next spring.
For more suggestions, check the Visit Mesa list of hotels.
What to visit
At the Mesa Historical Museum, situated less than a mile from Hohokam Stadium in downtown Mesa, baseball fans can take in "Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience," a year-round exhibit on Mesa's role in the founding of the Cactus League. Among the baseball memorabilia and other historical items on display are team uniforms from the early 1900s.
For those whose interests extend beyond the outfield wall, the Mesa Arts Center offers live music, dance, comedy and theater performances, plus gallery spaces and free lunchtime concerts.
Where to eat
Originally owned by Cub announcers Harry Caray and Steve Stone, Diamond's Sports Grille may be the closest thing to The Cubby Bear outside of Wrigleyville. It offers a pre-home-game breakfast buffet and such pun-laden menu categories as "The Starting Line-Up," "Field of Greens," "Designated Hitters" and "For the Little Leaguers" --- plus Chicago favorites Goose Island and Old Style beer to wash it all down. There's also a free shuttle service to and from Hohokam.
Chicago transplant Paul Spokas takes visiting Cub fans to West Addison Sports Bar in Scottsdale, named for one of the landmark streets that bounds Wrigley Field. The pub doubles as the hangout of choice for Chicago Bears and Notre Dame football fans.
He also rejoiced when Portillo's opened recently in Scottsdale, with a second location being planned near the new stadium. Already, its Chicago-style hot dogs, Polish sausages and Italian beef have proved so popular that it takes a traffic cop to keep the customers flowing. Unfortunately, Spokas says, "I still haven't found a deep-dish pizza here like home."