The Cubs took the field in 1979 here at Mesa, training with some of the classic former Chicago players such as Dave Kingman, who would either strike out or hit a home run. 1979 however was perhaps Kingman's best season and he would leave Mesa and go on to hit 48 blasts with 115 RBI and a .288 batting average at Wrigley Field. Other players like Ivan DeJesus (24 SB, .283), a 23 year old Rick Reuschel (18-12, 3.62), Dick Tidrow (11-5, 2.72) and Bruce Sutter (6-6-37 Sv, 2.22) would become synonymous with the early 80's
era of the Chicago Cubs. Despite the quality of players and especially young pitchers, this franchise was hardly a competitive team. They would finish 2 games under .500 in 1979 and by 1980 come within 2 games of 100 losses. The big turnaround seemed to happen in 1982 when a few new players began to break camp with the Chicago Cubs… one of whom was a future Hall of Famer.