Cactus League Stadiums – Maryvale Baseball Park

If you haven’t noticed, I really enjoy visiting different stadiums and getting a feel for baseball in all different atmospheres. My bucket list even includes visiting all 30 active MLB stadiums (doing it in a single season would be even more bad @#$). So, on we go with the Cactus League stadium reviews.

I’ve already reviewed:

So now I move on to one that is near and dear to my heart:
Maryvale Baseball Park – Brewers

Maryvale Baseball Park

    All of you can call me a homer, I’ll take the name calling. But I demand that you see a game at this park and then tell me that you also don’t enjoy this stadium. First, it’s located in a slower part of the Phoenix Metropolis (surprisingly in an area called Maryvale) which is similar to Miller Park and the rest of Wisconsin. Second, it’s small and quaint. Similar to the small market team of the Brewers. It’s a diamond in the rough. Just like the Brewers and their fans. If you are looking for a super park with an amusement park and shark tanks, then this stadium isn’t for you. If you are looking for friendly people, GREAT! beer and brats, and an intimate setting to watch a ball game or converse with MLB big leaguers, then grab your tickets for one of the greatest parks.

    The stadium’s outfield seating may not look that large but this stadium may have the most grass seating in the Cactus League. Mainly due to all the grass past the walkway and under the trees (which are great for shade). Not to mention that the grass wraps around both foul poles and continues down both foul lines to the edge of the bullpens. One complaint I have with the grass seats are how steep the hill is. You will want ankle braces or anti-wedgie pants for this incline, so stick to the top of the hill near the walkway where its much more gradual. The outfield wall is also a low concrete slab and when combined with the steep incline gives a better view for fans than the typical chain link fence barrier where you get stuck looking through mesh. The outfield also has several pub tables with stools near the two Leinie’s Lodges.

    The infield seating are comfortable folding seats, typical of what you find at all baseball parks. But the best part is there are only 24 rows of seats. 24! What this means is that there isn’t a bad seat in the park. And from every location, it feels as if you are sitting on the field with the players. There is also no second deck and the concourse is completely uncovered. This gives the entire stadium an open and airy feel. The down side is that there is little shade (or cover if you get stuck there in hail storm… true story). You can find some in the outfield trees. There are some steel shaders down both foul lines. And the press box shades some around home plate. And if you sit in leftfield, you will have a good view of the mountains but you may also have to deal with looking at the sun. But who wants shade? Get a tan, maybe some red to help root for the Badgers.

    But what’s even better is that Maryvale brought a lot of Milwaukee to Arizona. By far, this stadium has the best beer selection and even sells bloody marys with cheese, sausage, olives, and every type of garnish imaginable. Not only with the beverages, but with the food. They have all the polish sausages, bratwursts, hot dogs, and even the Secret Stadium Sauce. So what can make this place even better? How about the famous Sausage Races (which everyone copies now) during the 7th innings. Plus Roll Out The Barrel during the 7th inning stretch. It doesn’t get any more Brewer than that.

    But like all stadiums, I have to nitpick no matter how much I love a stadium. The area is not conducive to baseball fans. It’s basically a neighborhood. Sure there is a Wally World (aka Walmart) across the street, but no local restaurants nearby. But I will let you all in on a little secret Brewer bar that is in the strip mall next to the stadium. It’s called the ‘Purple Turtle’. Yes, I know what thought just popped into your head. And, No, it isn’t a male strip club (but what a great name for one). When we first stumbled upon it, we definitely had the same thoughts and the outside doesn’t make you feel anymore sure it isn’t that type of establishment. There are zero windows and the door is graffiti’ed. But it’s only a pool hall and OTB bar that welcome’s Brewer fans with open arms (which is fun to gamble against friends on horse races). But beside that place, there is literally nothing else without driving several blocks down the main streets to get to some fast-food style restaurants. The scoreboard in leftfield is also terrible. It’s pretty much one step up from a high-school scoreboard (or maybe worse than some high-schools). If all you care about are player’s names and the individual inning scores, then you won’t have a problem with it.

    But overall, this is probably my favorite stadium that I’ve been to to watch a professional baseball game. If you sit in the grass down LF or RF, you can easily talk to anyone in the bullpens. You can snag plenty of baseballs from them too. Not to mention if you stand in RF by the gates, you can basically get any autograph you want because its the only way in and out of the stadium for every single player. Pair that with the openness of the stadium, all the Brewer quarks, and the best beer/beverage selection, and Maryvale park becomes a homerun in the Cactus League for one of the smallest market team there.

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