A's start off season with new players, new training complex

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Lew Wolff Training Complex
Lew Wolff Training Complex (Feb. 23, 2015/ABC7 News)

MESA, Ariz. -- When it comes to the Oakland A's in 2015, the key word is "new." They've got a whole bunch of new players and they've moved to a new spring training home in Mesa, Arizona.

ABC7 went to check out the new team from the Lew Wolff Training Complex.

HoHoKam Stadium is the A's new field of dreams. It features a new high-def LED video board and is the largest in the Cactus League. The home clubhouse features a spacious locker room, kitchen and weight room. It's all part of the 70,000-square-foot renovation and players just love it.

"It's beautiful. Inside they did an incredible job with the weight room and training room and locker room. It's state of the art and so much bigger than anything else we've ever had. The field looks like it's in great shape. They have a state-of-the-art video board and it seems like they thought of everything. They did a great job," A's closer Sean Doolittle said.

"This is an incredible facility. Lew and team did a great job with the renovations and everything they've done and it's first class right now," A's pitcher Barry Zito said.

Equipment manager Steve Vucinich has been with the A's since 1968 and he says it doesn't get better than this. He told us, "We're out here, a little farther than 10 miles east, which is nothing in California standards. We've got a restaurant-sized kitchen. We've got a huge locker room. Our weight room is as big as a 24 Hour Fitness center. The training facilities are great. So we're really happy out here. It's going to be a good situation for all of us."

When I asked Vucinich if it would be tough to go back to the Oakland Coliseum, he said, "Our joke has been can we put this on a forklift and take it to Oakland because we'd love to have something this size."

March 3 will be the home opener at HoHoKam park against the San Francisco Giants.