Baseball Facility Renovation Project
When the baseball program began at Eastern Mennonite University in 1969, the existing field was built on top of fill dirt from the construction of Mt. Clinton Pike. Strong coaching leadership has helped the baseball roster to grow from 26 players to 52 during the 2015-16 season, allowing for the addition of a junior varsity program with a 10-game schedule.
The stature of EMU’s baseball program far exceeds the current quality of the facilities. While some modest improvements have been made through team members’ fundraising efforts with their families and friends, the quality and growth of the baseball team has long surpassed that of its original facilities. The field’s original construction over fill dirt left very little topsoil in the outfield, which is evident during the summer months and creates an uneven playing surface. The current dugouts do not accommodate the increased roster size, and the current backstop is not large enough to protect the growing fan base from foul balls. Use by outside groups, which could enhance revenue, has decreased over the years as the quality of the facility has deteriorated.
Hosting Showcase Tournaments
In college baseball today, the main forum for seeing and evaluating potential recruits is through the travel ball team tournaments. These tournaments are normally held on college and university fields. Hosting showcase tournaments is not only good for introducing EMU to players and parents, but also a source of additional revenue. A renovated facility would allow for a considerable increase in the daily charge for usage.
High School Playoffs
EMU is located in a “baseball valley,” with games at all levels generating community interest and involvement. An improved facility with lights would allow EMU to host high school district and regional games, providing important exposure to recruits. EMU also envisions the possibility of inviting local high school teams to play one game each season on the renovated field.
Rockingham County League Team
EMU envisions an opportunity to have a local county league team use the renovated facility as their home field. Given the history of a former county team that played in Park View (The Harrisonburg Chicks), the community would rally behind the addition of a county team on EMU’s campus.
Dugouts and Press Box
Construction of new, in-ground dugouts, 45-ft. in length, with an additional storage area on each one. An enclosed press box will be constructed on top of the first base dugout with capabilities for filming, as well as audio and video-streaming of games.
An attractive and safety-enhancing backstop is planned that will feature a three-foot high brick wall connecting to the two dugouts with netting rising above the wall. This backstop will be closer to home plate and the netting will rise higher than the current fence backstop, increasing safety for spectators.
The naturally sloped area between Park Road and the backstop will be terraced and concrete pads will be installed for seating directly behind the backstop. Natural grass areas will be retained on the sides of the seating area.
A pavilion with removable sides will be constructed in the right field bullpen area and will house batting cages and bullpens. This will provide a year-round training facility for the baseball program, greatly reducing the demands on the University Commons which currently houses one indoor batting cage.
With the 2015 addition of an in-ground irrigation system, the outfield can now be sprigged with Bermuda grass which will increase the playability of the surface and reduce maintenance.
Support this Project
Please join us in building a “field of dreams” for our student-athletes!
Learn more – Contact us at 540-432-4203 or at email@example.com learn more about the baseball facility renovation project and request a case for support.
Become an advocate – Voice your support with community and business leaders; encourage others to join the conversation; offer your prayerful support for this project and for EMU students, faculty and staff.
Pledge your support – Consider a multi-year commitment to achieve a gift of significance; consider a gift of appreciated securities to leverage your impact for this campaign.
Make a one-time gift – contact us at 540-432-4200 or visit our giving page.
Naming opportunities are available, and can be used to honor a loved one, a family, or a beloved professor. For more information, contact Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement at 540-432-4203 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.