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Hi Corbett Field
Toro00502.jpg
Hi Corbett Field entrance, 2008
Former names Randolph Field
Location Tucson, Arizona
Opened 1937
Renovated 1992, 1997, and 1999
Owner City of Tucson
Operator City of Tucson Parks & Recreation
Surface Grass
Capacity 9,500
Field dimensions Right F. - 348 ft (106.07 m)
Center F. - 392 ft (119.48 m)
Left F. - 366 ft (111.55 m)
Tenants
Colorado Rockies (spring training) (1993-present)
Cleveland Indians (spring training) (1945-1992)
Tucson Toros (PCL) (1969-1997)
Tucson Toros (GBL) (2009-present)
Arizona Heat (NPF) (2004-2007)
Tucson Cowboys (A-TL/A-ML/SIL) (1937-1958)
USA Baseball (headquarters) (1997-2003)
Tucson Javelinas (AFL) (1993-1994)
Tucson Lizards (A-TL) (1932)

Hi Corbett Field is a baseball field located in Tucson, Arizona. The stadium holds 9,500 people. It is the spring training home of the Colorado Rockies.

Contents

Venue history and statistics

Built in 1937 for the Class D Tucson Lizards (Arizona/Texas League), Hi Corbett Field was originally called Randolph Municipal Baseball Park.[1] It was renamed in honor of Hiram Stevens Corbett (1886-1967),[2] a former Arizona state senator who was instrumental in bringing spring training to Tucson, specifically by convincing Bill Veeck to bring the Cleveland Indians to Tucson in 1947. Veeck owned a ranch in Tucson at the time and players sometimes rode Veeck's horses after the games.[1] Veeck claimed that he moved the team's training camp from Florida to Arizona in order to avoid Florida's Jim Crow laws.[3]

Hi Corbett was remodeled in 1972 and renovated in 1992, 1997 and 1999. It is part of a larger city park complex, Gene C. Reid Park (which also includes the Reid Park Zoo) and Randolph Park, located between Broadway Boulevard and 22nd Street in midtown Tucson.

The main playing field's dimensions are as follows: 348 feet in Right Field, 392 feet in Center Field, and 366 feet in Left Field, with a "Green Monster" fence in Center Field. The ballpark currently has a capacity of 9,500, including 598 box seats, 8,350 reserved seats, and 562 bleacher seats. There are also two ancillary fields for use in spring training, but these make no provision for spectators.

Teams

Hi Corbett served as the spring training home of the Cleveland Indians from 1945 through 1992. Cleveland announced in 1990 that they would depart Tucson and the city tried to attract the Baltimore Orioles to move to Arizona.[4] Parts of the 1989 movie Major League were filmed at Hi Corbett Field. This production used members of the University of Arizona baseball team as extras.

Since 1993, Hi Corbett has been the pre-season home of the expansion Colorado Rockies, who moved into Hi Corbett with their inaugural spring training.

Hi Corbett is also closely associated with minor league baseball. Aside from the Lizards, the Tucson Cowboys (Class C; Arizona-Texas League) played at Hi Corbett intermittently from the late 1930s until 1958. The Tucson Toros (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) played there from their inception in 1969 until 1997. The largest Tucson Toros crowd at Hi Corbett was 12,863 on May 17, 1981 against Salt Lake City. In 1997, the Toros essentially exchanged ownership and franchises with the nearby Phoenix Firebirds, so that the ex-Toros played in Scottsdale Stadium as the Firebirds, and the ex-Firebirds played at Hi Corbett as the Toros. In 1998 the Phoenix team relocated to Fresno, California and was renamed the Fresno Grizzlies, [5] and the Tucson Toros became the Tucson Sidewinders, and played in the new Tucson Electric Park. [6]

The Arizona Fall League, a short season league for major league prospects, fielded a team at Hi Corbett in 1993 and 1994, known as the Tucson Javelinas. The team relocated to Peoria, Arizona in 1995 (becoming the Peoria Javelinas) to limit travel distances to the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area.

Warming up at Hi Corbett Field, Spring Training 2003.

USA Baseball was headquartered at Hi Corbett from 1997-2003.

From 2004-2007 Hi Corbett was home to the Arizona Heat women's professional softball team.

In addition to the large number of visiting teams that have appeared there as part of regular league play, Hi Corbett has hosted exhibition games featuring the Colorado Silver Bullets, Houston Astros and University of Arizona, among others. Baseball Hall of Fame members who played at Hi Corbett include Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and many others.[1]

Future

In 2007, the Rockies asked for a package of improvements to Hi Corbett potentially totaling $10-20 million under the threat of a possible move to Goodyear, Arizona. In response, Pima County is planning to charter a regional sports authority possibly funded by tourism and other taxes. [7] Such authority would have to be approved both by the Arizona Legislature and voters of the county. The departure of the Chicago White Sox from Tucson Electric Park has forced team management to expedite plans for a future move, as the Rockies has stated that they need two other teams in order for Tucson to be a viable spring training town for them. The Rockies decided to move to a new ballpark in 2011 in Scottsdale. The Arizona Diamondback will share the facility.

In 2009, the Tucson Toros will return after an eleven-year absence; playing as members of the Golden Baseball League, the new Toros will once again make Hi Corbett Field their own home ballpark. [8][9]

References

  1. ^ a b c Levesque, John. "Field of memories, if not field of dreams". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/levesque/216984_leve22.html?source=rss. Retrieved 2007-01-09.  
  2. ^ Kestenbaum, Lawrence (2005-03-10). "Index to Politicians: Cooperrider to Corby". The Political Graveyard. http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/coots-corbly.html. Retrieved 2007-01-09.  
  3. ^ Bill Veeck with Ed Linn (1989). Veeck as in Wreck. Fireside Sports Classics. pp. 177–178. ISBN 0-671-67540-0.  
  4. ^ "Tucson Trying to Attract Orioles". Los Angeles Times. 1990-12-13. http://articles.latimes.com/1990-12-13/sports/sp-9066_1_baltimore-orioles. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Team History". Tucson Sidewinders web site. Minor League Baseball. 2006. http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/ballpark/page.jsp?ymd=20060125&content_id=39224&vkey=ballpark_t549&fext=.jsp&sid=t549. Retrieved 2007-04-09.  
  7. ^ Meltzer, Erica (2008-03-05). "Pima County moves closer to forming sports authority". Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona: Lee Enterprises). http://www.azstarnet.com/business/228236. Retrieved 2008-03-10.  
  8. ^ "Golden Baseball League Expands to Tucson". GBL Website (Dublin, California: Golden Baseball League). 2008-09-01. http://www.goldenbaseball.com/ArDisplay.aspx?ID=4712&SecID=303. Retrieved 2008-09-02.  
  9. ^ Pangburn, Joe (2008-09-01). "Tucson Toros make their return home to Hi Corbett next year". Inside Tucson Business (Tucson, Arizona: AZBiz.com). http://www.azbiz.com/articles/2008/09/01/news/doc48b6e5de83776081205646.txt. Retrieved 2008-09-02.  

External links


Coordinates: 32°12′48″N 110°55′9″W / 32.21333°N 110.91917°W / 32.21333; -110.91917

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