Packard Stadium was the home of ASU baseball from 1974-2013. Packard's existence was made through a gift to ASU from alumni Guthrie and Peter Packard. The stadium is a tribute to their late father, William Guthrie Packard, a prominent member of the publishing industry. Packard served the Shepard Company for 51 years, rising from sales representative to president to chairman of the board. He was also active in various community and church affairs in Colorado and Arizona. Packard has more than 3,000 backed-seats at the main level. In centerfield is a 30-foot high batting eyewall, nicknamed "The Green Monster," painted green so that the batter standing at home plate 400 feet away can see the baseball coming out of the pitcher's hand. Packard Stadium was home to many professional baseball players including Barry Bonds (1983-85), Reggie Jackson (1966), Andre Ethier (2002-03), and Dustin Pedroia (2002-04). ASU has one of the most successful baseball programs in the country. The Sun Devils have won five national championships (1965, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1981), the fourth most by any school, and have the third most College World Series victories with 61.
Backstory and Context
Packard Stadium is a college baseball stadium in Tempe, Arizona, and was the home field of the Arizona State Sun Devils of the Pac-12 Conference from 1974 to 2014. The stadium was built in 1974 and named for William Guthrie Packard. It was made possible by a gift from his children, Guthrie and Peter, who were ASU alumni. In 2001, the playing surface was renamed Bobby Winkles Field in honor of Bobby Winkles, the school's first varsity baseball coach, who coached the Sun Devils to a 574-173 record from 1959-71. In 2006, the name of Jim Brock, the school's all-time winningest varsity coach, was added to the stadium. Brock coached the Sun Devils to a 1,100 440 record from 1972–94, As a result, the full name of the stadium was Bobby Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The outfield wall, including a center field green monster, is lined with orange trees and just beyond the left field fence lies the Tempe Town Lake. The Sun Devils have an all-time record of 2,358-1,154 in 93 seasons of baseball. The Sun Devils have made 33 postseason appearances and 21 College World Series appearances. With five NCAA titles (1965, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1981), ASU is tied for third. In 46 years of varsity baseball dating back to 1959, ASU is 2,025-809-1 (.714).
Bonds attended Arizona State University, hitting .347 with 45 home runs and 175 rbi. In 1984 he batted .360 and had 30 stolen bases. In 1985, he hit 23 home runs with 66 RBIs and a .368 batting average. He was a Sporting News All-American selection that year. He tied the NCAA record with seven consecutive hits in the College World Series as sophomore and was named to All-Time College World Series Team in 1996. Bonds was not well liked by his Sun Devil teammates, in part because in the words of longtime coach Jim Brock, he was rude, inconsiderate and self-centered. Bonds was suspended for breaking curfew, the other players initially voted against his return even though he was easily the best player on the team. He graduated from Arizona State in 1986 with a degree in criminology. He was named ASU On Deck Circle Most Valuable Player.
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Slobodzian, Paul. Packard Stadium should have remained ASU baseball's home, The State Press. Accessed November 24th 2019. https://www.statepress.com/article/2018/04/spopinion-packard-stadium-should-have-remained-asu-baseballs-home.
Sun Devils Baseball. ASU Virtual Tour, Arizona State University. Accessed November 24th 2019. https://tours.asu.edu/tempe/packard-baseball-stadium.