million in gifts advances project to transform U.Va. Baseball
stands will be one of the features of U.Va.s renovated
baseball complex, shown here in a conceptual drawing.
Department of Athletics
has received $2 million in lead gifts to begin a $4 million construction
project to transform the Universitys baseball facility.
announcement comes shortly after the Board of Visitors affirmed
its commitment to maintain and improve the competitiveness of
U.Va.s intercollegiate sports programs.
gifts, from anonymous donors, are designated to create one
of the best places to watch and play baseball in the Atlantic
Coast Conference, said head baseball coach Dennis Womack.
Pending state approval, the University plans to break ground this
summer and complete the first phase of the project by the beginning
of the 2002 baseball season.
sends a very positive message to our recruits, Womack said.
If youre looking for a great facility, a great conference
and a great education, U.Va. is the place to be. The stadium project
indicates a commitment to baseball that will encourage more high-profile
players in Virginia to remain in-state.
planned over time will include a canopied grandstand with 2,000
chair-back seats, replacing 1,500 metal bleacher seats; six to
eight skyboxes for lease by fans and corporate sponsors; stadium
lights; dugouts for home and visiting teams; an on-site locker
room and clubhouse; a digital scoreboard; a new press box and
concession area. The first phase will include the new seats, dugouts,
lights and concession area.
drawing of U.Va.'s new baseball stadium
new ballpark will enable U.Va. to schedule home games against
nationally prominent teams.
will increase the opportunity for television game coverage,
said Craig Littlepage, interim athletic director. Adding
stadium lighting will allow our team to play or practice at night
and thus miss fewer classes. In addition, the facility will become
a community asset, offering a potential venue for high school
tournaments and adult-league games.
of U.Va. baseball
is one of the oldest athletic programs at U.Va. The first team
posted a 7-0 season in 1889, when it played at what is now Madison
Bowl. The current ballpark opened in 1970 alongside Lannigan Field,
the Universitys track-and-field facility across from University
Virginia baseball team had its most successful season in 1996.
That year, the Cavaliers won a school-record 44 games, captured
the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship and advanced
to the NCAA South I Region championship game.
season Womacks 21st as head coach the Cavaliers
went 25-31, with the highlight a 5-0 victory over then-No. 3 University
of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.
Since 1966, 50 former Cavaliers have been selected in the Major
League Baseball draft, including two this year, Hunter Wyant (Florida
Marlins) and Jon Benick (San Diego Padres). Twenty-one former
Cavaliers have advanced to the major leagues. Brian Buchanan,
a first-round draft pick by the New York Yankees in 1994, is currently
listed on the Minnesota Twins roster.
the most outstanding player in U.Va. history was Eppa Rixey, the
only player from the current ACC schools enshrined in the Baseball
Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Rixey, a left-handed pitcher,
won 266 games for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds
in a 21-year major-league career that concluded in 1933.