This upgraded oldie is a fun ballpark to visit and home to the Oakland A’s.
HoHoKam is the oldest stadium in the Cactus League and was long the home of the Chicago Cubs. The A’s moved in a few years ago, added some great patios and cool video boards, and made it feel both old and new.
During the game: Seats are usually plentiful at HoHoKam but you might not spend too much time in yours. The ballpark features large, shaded patios down each line with plenty of food and drink options. There are chest high counters to rest said food and drink while getting a nice view of the game. They are great places to hang out and I’ve met some really cool people.
Just beyond the patio in right field is a grass area for kids to run around and play and often there will be food trucks parked along the outfield concourse. Out past center field is a kids zone with games like tee ball home run derby and baseball skeeball. Usually the A’s mascot is out there clowing around. This is a great place to bring your family, especially younger kids who like to move around.
Before the game: The ballpark is located in a residential tract and there isn’t a restaurant in sight. Bring some snacks and some cold ones and play catch out on the grass parking lot.
Autograph seekers: There are really several ways to get autographs here. The A’s have a bit of an autograph alley behind the concourse on the first base side. There’s also a large gate behind right field that provides access to the clubhouse and both home and road players will often walk through it and the crowd to get to the field.
Oakland A’s alumni are at nearly every game signing memorabilia as well. Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, Blue Moon Odom, Bert Campaneris are a few of the players I’ve seen there. Also Mudcat Grant and George Foster. In the laid back atmosphere of Spring Training these players will spend a couple of minutes with each fan, take pictures, and make the meetings memorable.
Pro tip: Swing by and see the alumni. The money they raise goes to local charities and the players generally seem as happy to be there as the fans.
Bay Area staple Ike’s Love and Sandwiches has a couple of locations in the ballpark. Grab a sandwich, head out to the patio, grab a drink and enjoy the game. Look for the cookie and ice cream stand conveniently located by the kids area. They let you pick your cookies then your ice cream and make you a fresh ice cream sandwich.
My take: This ballpark has become one of my crew’s favorites and we are likely going to catch a game there again this year. I like the old school feel with the new school touches. If you are staying in Tempe or Scottsdale, I highly recommend a trip here.
Your take: I know there are tips and stories, let’s hear them.
Photo credit: Andy Jou