April 22, 2014
The Foundation for Minnesota Baseball (FMB) and University of Minnesota Athletics today announced the Siebert Field Lighting Ceremony to take place on April 25 before the Golden Gophers' 6:35 p.m. game against Penn State. The event will honor longtime Siebert Field advocate and local journalism legend Sid Hartman who will “throw the switch,” bringing a new era of evening and night baseball to Siebert Field and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Siebert Field's recently installed $500,000 lighting system will return night games to the Minnesota Golden Gopher Baseball schedule. Coach John Anderson's squad has been playing without lights since the building of a new facility left the field without a lighting system. Thanks to the generosity and commitment of donors whose contributions made it possible for the FMB to donate the lights, and the tireless efforts of Hartman, Siebert Field will once again light up the night for college baseball fans young and old.
The FMB originally came upon the idea to help fund the lights while identifying funding priorities for 2014. Several board members remarked on Hartman's regular calls to provide lights at Siebert field and shortly thereafter, Courneya heard Hartman campaigning for the lights on the radio, citing the advantages they would provide the Gopher program. Shortly thereafter, FMB made its pledge, along with the generous support of Musco Lighting in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Before new Siebert Field's inaugural night game on Friday, the Gophers will host Hamline on Wednesday, April 23 at 4:05 p.m.
They Said It: Quotes on the Addition of Lighting to Siebert Field
Minnesota Head Coach John Anderson: "First and foremost, we would like to thank the Foundation for Minnesota Baseball for funding this project. We are excited to play baseball at night this season, and to share this opportunity with other teams in the state. The vision has always been to make Siebert Field the center of amateur baseball. The addition of lights will provide more chances for young baseball players to use the ballpark."
FMB Executive Director Robert Ballintine: "We are pleased that the Foundation could make it possible to provide lighting for Siebert Field. Our foundation is dedicated to the promotion of amateur baseball throughout Minnesota, and we feel that Siebert is the epicenter for the sport in this state. Siebert Field is important to us, and we look forward to future opportunities to continue improving it."
FMB Board Chairman Dr. Dan Courneya: “The Foundation for Minnesota Baseball was organized around the simple concept that the game of baseball is good for us to play, makes us better people and should be accessible to all who want to participate, watch, or help. The Siebert Field lighting project was an opportunity to further that mission on behalf of some of the best amateur baseball players in the state and their many fans.”
Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague: “We are extremely grateful for the generous support of the Foundation for Minnesota Baseball in making these lights a reality much sooner than we originally planned,” said University of Minnesota Director of Athletics Norwood Teague. “We depend on the support of donors like FMB to assist us in providing the resources necessary for our student-athletes, and this was a fantastic and unexpected gift."
Pitching Coach Todd Oakes Passes Away At 55
Minnesota assistant baseball coach Todd Oakes passed away today after a courageous and public battle with leukemia. Oakes, who coached the Minnesota pitching staff, was 55.
Gophers Drop Out of B1G Tournament
Minnesota falls to Michigan 3-2 in an elimination game on Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park
Minnesota Falls in B1G Tournament Opener
Gophers play at 1 p.m. in an elimination game tomorrow afternoon against either Michigan or Ohio State