The Obit For Robert Brinton

Former Cactus League exec Brinton dies
Helped lead drive to keep Cubs spring home in Mesa

By Carrie Muskat /
October 23, 2001

CHICAGO -- Robert Brinton, a driving force in the Cactus League and in keeping the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz., died on Friday. He was 60.

A past Cactus League Association president, Brinton was not feeling well on Friday in his office at the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith told the Arizona Republic. Brinton was found slumped over in the restroom.

"I lost a friend, a co-worker, a giant," Smith told the newspaper.

Brinton and Smith worked together to keep the Cubs from moving their spring facility to Naples, Fla. They successfully campaigned for approval of a Mesa ballot measure that approved financing for a new Cubs complex at the present site of Riverview Golf Course, near the interchange of Loops 101 and 202 in west Mesa.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement that Brinton helped persuade him to keep the team in Arizona.

"Robert was as passionate a Cubs fan as there ever was," Ricketts said in a statement. "His love for baseball helped fuel the success of the Cactus League through more than five decades. His leadership this past year is a big part of the reason our team is staying in Mesa, and his legacy to future generations will be evident each spring as the Cubs take the field. He was a true friend and we will miss him dearly."

Besides his tenure as president of the Cactus League Association, Brinton was also executive director of the Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau and the past president of the Mesa HoHoKams. He is survived by his wife, Nannette, and seven adult children. Services are pending.