Hi Corbett Field (Baseball)
UA History at Hi Corbett | Photo Gallery | Video Tour | Kindall/Sancet Field
Beginning in 2012, Hi Corbett Field became the new home of Arizona baseball. Located approximately two miles southeast of the University of Arizona campus, Hi Corbett Field is the former Spring Training home of the Colorado Rockies and offers Major League-caliber amenities to the UA baseball program.
The historic ballpark has a capacity of 9,500 and includes spacious concourses, hundreds of box seats, and large grandstands behind home plate and down each base line complete with chair-back seating to create one of the best gameday environments for fans in the nation. Down each foul line are additional oversized grandstands with bleacher seats, and down the right field foul line is a large grass lawn with shade trees.
The stadium has an abundance of amenities for visitors, including large concessions stands and restrooms. The venue is handicapped accessible and includes nearly 1,000 parking spaces in the surrounding areas. The press box features an elevator, a large media workroom, home and visiting radio booths and operations rooms. A roof extends from atop the press box and provides shade on sunny days to the seats behind home plate.
The Arizona baseball offices are located on-site in an executive suites building down the right field line. The complex includes five offices, a conference room, restrooms and an academic study area.
For players, a newly renovated and oversized home clubhouse is attached to the home dugout along the first base line. Inside is a large locker room area with individual wooden lockers for each player, showers and restrooms, a rehabilitation center, a training room, coaches gameday locker room, televisions, new furniture, a video room for film study and an equipment room. Cosmetic upgrades to flooring, painting and UA branding were completed in January 2012.
Behind the right field fence is a lighted and covered batting cage facility. The batting cage features four tunnels and pitching mounds to provide hitters and pitchers a place to workout any day of the year. A professionally-maintained auxiliary field beyond the right field fence is also available for the team to use for practice and training at any time.
Hi Corbett Field sits in the heart of mid-town Tucson and is nestled inside Gene C. Reid Park. Over the left field fence is the Reid Park Zoo and to the east behind the third-base grandstands are the greens to the second hole at Randolph North Golf Course and the fourth hole at Dell Urich Golf Course - yes, two 18-hole municipal courses. Surrounding views include the Santa Catalina Mountains to the north, the Rincon Mountains to the east, the Santa Rita Mountains to the south and the Tucson Mountains to the west.
Tucson's most centrally-located park, walking and biking paths, a lake, picnic areas and ball fields complete the spacious confines of Reid Park. Other nearby attractions includes Randolph Recreation Center, the El Con Mall, shopping centers, and dining establishments.
Hi Corbett Field was built in 1927 and originally named Randolph Municipal Baseball Park. The initial home teams in the early years included the Tucson Waddies and the Tucson Cowboys of the Arizona State League. In 1931, the Tucson Missions played in the Arizona-Texas League and the Tucson Lizards were the name in 1932. From 1933-1958 the Tucson Cowboys occupied the ballpark.
In 1946, the Cleveland Indians moved their spring training operations to Tucson. Hiram Steven Corbett, a long-time Arizona state senator and president of the Tucson Baseball Commission, played a key role in luring the Indians. Corbett worked with Bill Veeck, then owner of the Indians, to make the deal happen.
In the Cactus League's inaugural opener on March 8, 1946, Bob Lemon got the win as the Indians defeated the Giants 3-1. In 1951, the City of Tucson renamed the ballpark in honor of Corbett and it has since been known simply as Hi Corbett Field.
For 46 years, it was the home of Indians for spring training. In 1992, the Indians announced they were moving their spring training location to Florida. The Colorado Rockies, a new expansion franchise, immediately moved into the facility in the spring of 1993. The club remained through 2010.
The ballpark was the home of the Tucson Toros, a Class-AAA affiliate, from 1969-1997. But when the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox opened the Kino Sports Complex as a spring training site, the Tucson Toros permanently moved to the new park and became known as the Tucson Sidewinders. Thereafter, USA baseball, the Arizona Heat of National Pro Fastpitch and the Golden Baseball League's Tucson Toros have been headquartered at Hi Corbett.
On Aug. 10, 2011, the University of Arizona Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that the baseball program was moving its plant permanently to Hi Corbett Field. The move became official months later when a lease agreement was singed by the school and the City of Tucson.
The school has a long and storied history of playing games at Hi Corbett Field, though most games date back to the 1940's, 50's, 60's and early 70's. The Wildcats often played double-headers where the afternoon contest was played on campus at UA Field (now current location of main library) and the nightcap was hosted under the lights at Hi Corbett Field. Arizona's rivalry games with Arizona State were also frequently played off-campus in the evenings, as were the NCAA District Playoffs.
The first-ever collegiate night game played in Tucson was on April 26, 1940 when Arizona hosted New Mexico. The Wildcats won, 8-0, but the night was highlighted by hurler Ken Heist who struck out 21 batsmen in his final collegiate game. At the time it was believed to be a school record and remains the top mark in program history to this day.
In 1967, the Arizona baseball program proudly opened Wildcat Field and added lights to the facility during the 1975 season. With a lighted ballpark on campus, the need to play games at Hi Corbett faded away. The on-campus venue was renamed Frank Sancet Stadium in 1986 and later to Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium in 2003. The ballpark hosted 1,604 games from 1967-2011, with the Wildcats winning 1,114 games against 486 losses and four ties.