Sancet Field (Baseball)
The home of Arizona baseball is Frank Sancet Field. The park is located on the campus of the University of Arizona, adjacent to the McKale Center, home of the UA athletics department. Arizona started playing its games at the current location in 1967. Modernization of the facility was completed for the 1975 season. Originally called Wildcat Field, the park was officially dedicated Frank Sancet Field on April 19, 1986, in honor of Arizona's longtime head coach. Sancet, who coached from 1950-72, posted an 831-283-8 (.744) mark at the helm of the Cats. He led Arizona to 16 postseason appearances in his 23 years, including nine College World Series trips.
Over the years, major improvements have been made to the facility. In 1988, a $160,000 scoreboard, complete with a computerized message center was purchased through advertising contracts with Gatorade and The Arizona Daily Star. Two years later, teams were provided a little more comfort than in previous seasons when new dugouts were added. They were built back deeper into the stands and are equipped with storage rooms. In 1997, the press box was improved and nearly tripled in size. New fencing has been put in as well as astroturf in front of the dugouts.
Groundskeeper Bo Vanture and his crew work year-round to keep the field in outstanding playing condition. Vanture has worked on the grounds crew at Arizona for 19 years and has been the Cats' head groundskeeper since 1983. Vanture and former groundskeeper Jeff Wilcox were honored in 1994 as the American Baseball Coaches' Association Groundskeepers of the Year.
The Sancet Field outfield is Bermuda, while the infield is a Tif-Green. The infield consists of Stabilizer Red dirt, and Stabilizer Clay is used around home plate and on the mound. In the past year, a new irrigation system was installed for the infield grass and dirt. The grounds crews overseeds the field in November with a Perennial Rye, Arnold Palmer II, to prepare it for the season.
The spacious playing field carries a distance of 360 feet down each foul line, 378 feet to the power alleys and 400 feet to center field. A 12-foot fence comes in to left and right center before giving way to a six-foot fence across the center field area. Eight poles of light provide a well-illuminated field for evening games. In 1995, Sancet got its own "Green Monster" with the installation of a wall designed to block traffic lights during night games.
Sancet Field has proven to be quite a home field advantage for the Cats, as Arizona has posted a 32-year mark of 820-343-3 (.705) in more than 1,100 games. UA has had just three losing records at Sancet Field and nearly reached perfection in 1974 with a 37-1 home campaign. The stadium has also been the site of four NCAA Regionals (1979, '80, '89 and '92).