March 16 update: due to developments surrounding the coronavirus, all on-campus events and athletics games have been cancelled for the remainder of the semester.
The Golden Tigers are heading for home in a spectacular way on Saturday, March 21, as the Tuskegee University Baseball team returns to playing on the university campus for home games after an eight-year hiatus.
The university will rededicate the renovated James B. Washington Field on March 21 during a 1:30 p.m. ceremony. Following that, at 2:30 p.m., the Golden Tigers will throw the first pitch against the LeMoyne-Owen College Magicians for its first home game on campus since 2016.
"Tuskegee University enthusiastically welcomes the return of the Golden Tigers Baseball team to a newly renovated James B. Washington Field", said the university’s chief of staff, Dr. Shirley A. Friar. "Our head baseball coach, Reginald Hollins, spearheaded these efforts and worked tirelessly for more than three years to identify additional resources to support the first phase of the renovation of the baseball field. Alumni and volunteers have also worked in concert with Coach Hollins to return Golden Tigers Baseball to its rightful home at Washington Field.”
“Coach Reginald Hollins is to be commended for his relentless commitment – he has put in many personal hours of hard work and secured the needed funds to accomplish his goal of opening the field for the 2020 baseball season,” said Athletic Director Willie Slater. “He raised more than $100,000 in donations and secured in-kind contributions to level and sod for the in-field surface. I am personally committed to helping build a stellar baseball program that will benefit our students, athletes and the young people in the community."
"Returning baseball games to the Tuskegee University campus is historic for our program," Hollins added. "Tuskegee baseball players deserve this moment. They have worked tirelessly on and off the field to be the best students, the best athletes and the best representatives of their university.”
Washington Field dates back to 1890, when it was named after James B. Washington, the brother of founding president Dr. Booker T. Washington. James Washington, who organized the university’s first baseball team in 1892, is affectionately referred to as “the Father of Athletics at Tuskegee.”
In 2016, the baseball program began to address upgrades needed to Washington Field. To date, completed renovations include upgrades to the batting cages, the two dugouts and two bullpens, and both first and third baseline fencing. Renovations also include newly installed in-field irrigation and drainage systems, restored in-field topsoil and sod, a reconstructed pitching mound and home plate, and a new chain-link/netting backstop system.
“As an alumnus of Tuskegee and a former baseball student-athlete, I had an opportunity to play on Washington Field — to compete in front of an amazing student body and the Tuskegee community,” recalled Hollins, a 2010 Tuskegee business administration graduate. “Our students and fans provide energy and an intangible home-field advantage that cannot be measured or fully understood unless you have been a student-athlete playing before your home crowd. I want our baseball players to experience the same electric atmosphere of Golden Tigers Baseball on our real home field. The team looks forward to reviving baseball in the Tuskegee community as well. We will now offer local camps and clinics to kids of all ages. Returning to our cherished Washington Field will be a dream fulfilled."
"Baseball’s return to the campus will spark the interest of not only our Tuskegee students, but also the community of Tuskegee and its surrounding cities and towns," Slater said. "The opening of Tuskegee baseball at Washington Field will rekindle the fire for baseball and softball among young children of all ages with the return of baseball and softball camps and other sports-related clinics throughout the summer.”
“Students, staff and the entire Tuskegee community have been waiting anxiously to attend Golden Tigers Baseball games on the campus again,” Friar noted. “Many in the community have remarked that Tuskegee baseball was an integral part of their weekend activities. The return of Tuskegee baseball to Washington Field will be celebrated by all."
For more information about the Golden Tigers Baseball program, visit https://goldentigersports.com/sports/baseball.
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