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  • Writer's pictureMeg Minard

Marich Field - Phoenix College Bears


Photos by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.43

Martin “Pug” Marich Field 3101 N 15th Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85015


Year Opened: unknown Capacity: 1,000 (a guess)

 

Bear Ball

Martin “Pug” Marich Field is on the Phoenix College campus in Midtown Phoenix.  Martin “Pug” Marich coached the Phoenix College Bears baseball team from 1961 to 1968.  He guided the Bears to two national championships.  In 1985, the school named the baseball field to honor his years of devotion and commitment to the sport and to the school.

The Phoenix College Bears won the National Championship in 1960, 1962, and 1965.  Six former Bears players have made it to MLB.  Forty-one have been drafted by MLB.


They are members of the ACCAC (Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) – NJCAA – Region 1 – Div 2.   They were back-to-back NJCAA Region 1 – Div 2 champions in 2022 and 2023, which allowed them entry to the NJCAA D2 championship series in Enid, OK.   


Food & Beverage 1

Signs indicate a concession stand is in the area, but I did not find one during my visit.  I did see Coke and snack vending machines.   Fans can bring in their own food and beverages, and many do.


Atmosphere 3

It’s an okay game day experience at Marich Field.  The best part is the announcer, who calls the starting lineup clearly and announces the player at bat.  He calls pitching changes for the Bears but not always for the visiting team.  I’m guessing he doesn’t always have a complete visitor roster. 


Seats are twelve long rows of bleachers set behind home plate with no handrails at all.   A medium-thickness net protects the fans.  A canopy covers the seating area.  It can be cold or a relief, depending on your preference and the temperature at game time.  The side closest to third base gets the sun first for afternoon games.


Both dugouts are painted dark blue and gold, the school’s colors.  And they are close to the seating area.  I never realized how much activity occurs in a dugout.


The stadium has lights; the Bears can play night games here.  The scoreboard is a basic dot matrix board showing the line score.


Martin "Pug" Marich Field Scoreboard, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


A whole variety of music is played before the game and between innings.  The music person plays walk-up songs for the home team.  The volume is not deafening; fans can converse with each other without having to yell. 


The venue seems to draw a good amount of yellow jackets/bees.  For those allergic, remember to bring your EpiPen. 


Neighborhood 3

Being in Central Phoenix, fans can find plenty of things to see and do within driving distance of Marich Field.    


For food, I strongly recommend the Original Hamburger Works  known for their mesquite broiled hamburgers cooked over an open flame.  It has a full-service bar and a patio and is ½ mile from the ball field. 


Across the street from the Original Hamburger Works is J P Mc Gurkee's Sandwich Shop.  This is an excellent place to pick up a sandwich to bring with you to the ball game.


Encanto Park and Enchanted Island Amusement Park are less than a mile from Marich Field.  They are public parks, with fishing, boating, golf, rides, picnic tables, swimming pools, and other outdoor activities.  The Heard Museum (American Indian Art) is nearby and certainly worth a visit, even if you’re not into art. 


Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) and the Footprint Center (Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury) are four miles from Marich Field.  American Family Fields of Phoenix (Milwaukee Brewers spring training) and Brazell Field (GCU Antelopes) are five to six miles from the campus. 


For other nearby ACCAC baseball fields, Glendale CC, Scottsdale CC, and Mesa CC are between15 and 20 miles away, and those games are free to attend.


Hotels nearby include the Fairfield Inn & Suites and Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Midtown, both over a mile from Marich Field.  Several other well-known hotel chains are within a mile or two.


Fans 2

The fans are mostly family and friends of the ball players.  Depending on the opponent, some visiting fans will attend the games.  At the game of this review, attendance seemed sparse, although given the larger than normal seating capacity at this community college field, it would take quite a large crowd to make it seem packed.  All are there to support their sons/grandsons, cheering them on and slipping them snacks and treats in the dugout.


Very few students attend mid-afternoon matches.  The biggest fans are the ones in the dugouts (the teammates).


Access 3

Phoenix College and Marich Field are midway between I-17 and Central Ave and between Thomas Rd and Osborne Rd, just three miles north of Downtown Phoenix.


Free parking is available, with the closest lot at N 11th Ave and W Campus Dr (lots of speed bumps are in the lot).   The Valley Metro Osborn/Central Ave light rail station is one mile from the ball field.  Bus route 15 has a stop at 15th Ave and Earll Dr just beyond left field.  Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is six and a half miles southeast of the college. 


The bleachers have zero handrails, so those who can’t climb steps without support or are unsteady on their feet can only sit in the very first row.  The venue does not have any specific area for wheelchairs, but the walkway between the bleachers and the netting has room.


The facility has restrooms in the building behind the first baseline.  Porta Potties are also on site.


While there are ample ways of getting to the field, not having handrails to get up the bleachers is a deterrent.


Return on Investment 4

Of the eight ACCAC baseball fields I’ve visited, Marich Field is the first one that charged admission.  Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students.  Cash.  The school does not charge for parking.  The gameplay is not different than other ACCAC ball fields.  The stands hold more fans than the other fields, and it is covered for those hot afternoon games.  Still, I was taken aback that they charged a fee.

.

Extras 1

If you get a chance, enter the ‘Bear Den’ atrium (the Bear Den is the basketball gym just south of Marich Field) and peruse the championship trophies of all Phoenix College Bears athletic teams, including the 1965 NJCAA baseball trophy.


Phoenix College Bears Trophies, Photo by Meg Minard, Stadium Journey


Final Thoughts

Martin “Pug” Marich Field, located in Midtown Phoenix, is a decent place to enjoy a Phoenix College Bears baseball game.

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