July 13-26, 2001
Back Issues
$2 million in gifts advances project to transform U.Va. baseball park
Kaiserlian named new pres director
New site is central source for daily U.Va. news and features
Gilmore frees up another $2.2 M
Doctor tests vaccine for ovarian cancer
Tips to prevent and detect skin cancer
Hot Links - SCHEV
Visit Barcelona, Munich and the Bavarian Alps
$2 million in gifts advances project to transform U.Va. Baseball park
Covered stands will be one of the features of U.Va.’s renovated baseball complex, shown here in a conceptual drawing.

Staff Report

The Department of Athletics has received $2 million in lead gifts to begin a $4 million construction project to transform the University’s baseball facility.

The announcement comes shortly after the Board of Visitors affirmed its commitment to maintain and improve the competitiveness of U.Va.’s intercollegiate sports programs.

The 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.

“This sends a very positive message to our recruits,” Womack said. “If you’re 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.”

Improvements 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.

Conceptual drawing of U.Va.'s new baseball stadium

The new ballpark will enable U.Va. to schedule home games against nationally prominent teams.

“This 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.”

History of U.Va. baseball

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 University’s track-and-field facility across from University Hall.

The 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.

This season – Womack’s 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.

Perhaps 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.


© Copyright 2001 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page