Campbell Baseball announces campaign for improvements at Taylor Field
Over the past five years, dramatic changes have transformed the Campbell University campus. From the construction of the new Pharmacy teaching facility, Maddox Hall, to Butler Chapel, new residence halls, dining options and more, the campus has grown tremendously.
The John W. Pope Jr., Convocation Center / Gilbert Craig Gore Arena is the new home for the Campbell basketball, volleyball and wrestling programs. Across US-421, Barker-Lane football stadium is already a landmark on the county map, and the construction of the new track & field complex is nearing completion.
Count a new facility at Taylor Field, home to the Campbell baseball team, as next on the list of athletics upgrades. Fund-raising efforts have already started for the $1.4 million, two-phase project, which will include a 1,985-seat brick exterior stadium, new press box and concession facility, as well as improvements to the perimeter of the complex.
"I'm very excited about this great opportunity to start such an important project for our baseball program, university, and community," said head coach Greg Goff. "This facility will allow us to move this program to a level that everyone that wears the orange and black will be proud of."
Phase 1 of the project includes a new stadium entrance and ticket booth, rest rooms, plus wrought iron and brick fencing around the edge of the facility. The second phase calls for stadium expansion to nearly 2000, of which 515 will be premium chair-back seats, plus new concession and press areas.
"We are very excited about these plans to upgrade our Baseball facility," said Director of Athletics Stan Williamson. "Campbell Baseball has a proud tradition and we need to ensure we have a facility that matches that tradition and helps build on its future."
Construction on both phases of the project is expected to begin in 2010.
Last fall, the program announced the campaign during its Legends of the Game banquet at the Pope Convocation Center. Former major leaguers Jim Perry, Clyde King and Jerry Narron shared their baseball memories after the plans for the new Taylor Field were unveiled.
Perry, who played baseball and basketball during his Campbell days and went on to win the 1970 Cy Young Award with the Minnesota Twins, credited former coach Earl Smith for much of his success.
"If it hadn't been for Coach Smith, I never would have left Williamston (N.C.), said Perry, who won 215 games in a 16-year major league career. "He literally came and picked me up from my house to bring me here."
New facilities and competitive improvements have sparked all-time attendance highs for Campbell football and basketball. An improving baseball program will have a new stadium to call home before the Camels move back to the Big South Conference in 2011-12.
"We need our Campbell alumni and community friends to step up to the plate and come together and help us reach these goals and dreams we have as a baseball program by supporting this project," said Goff. "Having one of the finest facilities in the state of North Carolina will create an exciting environment to come watch a game in Buies Creek. This will be a dream come true for everyone associated with Campbell Baseball."
Kenny Milton, a 1989 graduate who pitched for the Fighting Camels and was an Academic All-American, echoes Coach Goff's sentiments.
"As a Campbell alum, former baseball player, and an avid local Campbell sports fan, I am anxiously awaiting the planned additions to the baseball facilities," said Milton, the closer on Campbell's 1988 Big South Championship team. "Having pitched for Cal Koonce on Taylor Field when it had "short porches" in both right and left fields provided lasting memories. The field and playing surface improvements over the years kept us competitive, but these facility upgrades will lift baseball to heights recently achieved by other Campbell athletics programs. It will enhance recruiting, exposure, fan support and ultimately player performance. It will represent us well within our conference and become yet another reason for pride in our university."
For more information on how you may assist in the construction of the new facility at Taylor Field, contact the Campbell University Athletics Department at (910) 893-1328.