PHOENIX — When the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland A’s 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon, nearly 50 years of professional baseball at Phoenix Municipal stadium came to an end.
The A’s have been playing their Cactus League spring training games there since 1982. They will move to Hohokam Park in Mesa next year.
Phoenix Municipal Stadium opened in 1964 as the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants. It was also the regular-season home stadium for the Giants’ Triple-A farm team, the Phoenix Giants.
Willie Mays was the first player to hit a home run there, and the light poles are from the Old Polo Grounds in New York, which was the home of the New York Giants before they moved to San Francisco.
Some fans say they’ll miss the old ballpark.
“It’s baseball like it was back when I was a kid,” said Leon Smith of Avondale. “It’s an old stadium. The new stadiums have all of the fancy stuff, but it’s just not the same.”
Patrick Larkin of Phoenix has some great memories of watching games at Phoenix Municipal, but he thinks it’s time for the A’s to leave.
“With all of the new ballparks they have now, this thing is definitely in the cellar,” he said.
Both men say they’ll be back to Phoenix Municipal next season … to watch college baseball. The Arizona State Sun Devils will leave Packard Stadium in Tempe to start playing their home games at Phoenix Municipal next year.