McLaughlins, von Coellns & Extended Family

Chicago Cubs Spring Training on Catalina

Soon after Wrigley bought Catalina Island, he moved the Spring Training site of his professional ballclub to Catalina in 1921. The team arrived in mid February each year amid great fanfare by the islanders and left in mid-March. Ronald "Dutch" Reagan was there in 1936 and 1937 as a radio announcer but went on to movies the next year. The team continued to have Spring Training on Catalina until 1951 (except 1943-45 during war when island taken over by the military). Below are pictures from the team's arrival in 1939.

Februrary 22, 1939: The Cubbies arrive on the steamer! From left to right: Hall of Fame Catcher Gabby Hartnett, W.L. White (mayor of Avalon), E.R. Pollok (city manager), and Dizzy Dean
Dizzy Dean waving his hat as the Cubbies arrived for Spring Training in 1939; riding in the coach is E.R. Pollok
  • Gabby Hartnett was just coming off his seventh-consecutive appearance on the All-Star team (1933-38) and 1939 was his last year as a full-time starter. He was the league MVP in 1935 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. See his full stats.
  • Dizzy Dean was a dominating starter for the St.Louis Cardinals from 1932-37 and became the league MVP in 1934 when he went 30-7 with a 2.66 ERA. He struck out over 190 batters per year during this stretch, only faltering in 1937. He was traded to the Cubs as the 1938 season began, and the pictures above show his first visit to Catalina with the team (he had been traded after Spring Training so missed the 1938 spring). Dean's time with the Cubs only lasted a couple more years, and he never came close to the success he posted with the Cardinals. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953. See his full stats.
Photo from eCatalina site of the cubbies at their baseball stadium on Catalina
This picture is of the Cubbies playing in the stadium on Catalina during Spring Training. See more Cubbies pictures at

This page last updated Sunday, 22-Oct-2006 12:19:11 PDT,

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