Guzzardi: Long ago, Cubs trained on Catalina Island

From SABR member Joe Guzzardi at on May 8, 2020:

For 30 years between 1921 and 1951 (with the exception of two years during World War II) the Chicago Cubs trained and frolicked on Catalina Island, a jewel located 26 miles off the Los Angeles coast.

Santa Catalina is such a glorious spot that The Four Preps, who, during their heyday, charted 11 gold records, memorialized it in “26 Miles,” a paean about “the island of romance, romance, romance.”

The story behind the Cubs’ arrival on Catalina is a tribute to team owner William Wrigley Jr. On a 1919 visit, the soap-turned-chewing gum potentate’s wife, Ada, woke, looked out her hotel window, gazed across the Pacific, and declared that she wanted to make Catalina her home. Wrigley quickly concurred, and two years later bought the island.

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Originally published: May 12, 2020. Last Updated: May 12, 2020.