Feb. 15, 2024

Grand opening of University of Arizona BookStores' team store at Hi Corbett Field to feature local muralist Rock Martinez's unique new work

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona BookStores will open a new team store at Hi Corbett Field that captures the essence of Tucson baseball and the city's rich history through a mural created by Rock Martinez, an acclaimed local artist and Tucson native.

The mural features icons of the university, the Sonoran Desert and America's pastime in a modern, pop-realistic style. It depicts a bobcat resting atop an oversize baseball, surrounded by flowering saguaro and prickly pear cactuses. Those are layered over a backdrop that includes the logos of two of the ballpark's most prominent tenants, the Tucson Toros and the Arizona Wildcats. The minor-league Toros played at Hi Corbett (1969-1997 and 2009-2011) before the Wildcats made it their home in 2012. The scene also reveals the park's outfield lights during an Arizona sunset.

The mural will dominate the wall behind the cashier's desk in a much larger store that occupies what once was the Toros' administrative offices and a warehouse space. The store provides room for more merchandise and a wider selection of items. Meanwhile, the former shop will become the Hat Store, offering fans a variety of baseball caps and other headwear near the main entrance.

"We are thrilled to unveil the team store at Hi Corbett Field, and Rock Martinez's mural is the highlight of this space," said Arizona BookStores executive director Peter Neff. "His ability to capture the spirit of our community and celebrate our baseball heritage is truly remarkable. This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to fostering local talent and creating a space that resonates with both sports enthusiasts and art lovers."

The grand opening for the new team store and an unveiling ceremony for the mural will take place as part of Opening Day festivities Feb. 16, when the Wildcats host nationally ranked Northeastern for the first game of a three-game series. To recognize Martinez's contribution to the community, which includes the creation of more than 20 murals citywide, the artist has been invited to throw the game's ceremonial first pitch. Before the game, fans can explore the store and engage with Martinez, who will share insights into his creative process and sign autographs.

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Media contact:
Katie Schoeben
University of Arizona BookStores

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2022 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $824 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 71 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. and Canada. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.