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Cubs enter last year at HoHoKam before starting fresh chapter across town

MESA AZ - MARCH 04:  General view actibetween OaklAthletics Chicago Cubs during MLB spring training game HoHoKam Park March

MESA, AZ - MARCH 04: General view of action between the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago Cubs during the MLB spring training game at HoHoKam Park on March 4, 2009 in Mesa, Arizona. The Cubs defeated the A's 9-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Updated: March 10, 2013 6:20AM

It’s not often commented upon, but HoHoKam Stadium, where the Cubs have trained for the last 16 springs, is directly across the street from Mesa Cemetery, the largest burial ground in this low-rise burg of more than 400,000 living souls.

The lack of attention to this curious fact — so fraught with meaning for the historically moribund baseball franchise — is readily explained. Spring is when Cubs fans’ hopes are highest, and en route to the ballpark on a sunny March day, it’s easy for them to ignore melancholy matters. I daresay that many if not most HoHoKam attendees are blind to the graveyard, or effectively so.

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