The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

June 22, 2013

Baseball not just on Marshall backburner

BECKLEY — With all the improvements to existing athletic facilities and the groundbreaking on projects currently under way, a Marshall fan’s first reaction might be that baseball is an afterthought.

True, other things have taken precedence — an indoor practice facility and new soccer facility chief among them — but baseball does have its place in the university’s plans.

Coach Jeff Waggoner’s team is without an on-campus stadium, forced to play its home games either here in Beckley at Linda K. Epling Stadium or at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park. Playing in Huntington would have its obvious advantages, and work toward that end is the ultimate goal.

There is, however, one hurdle to be cleared.

“The main issue with baseball is land,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said. “Even though we love to play in Beckley, and even if we had our own facility would still want to play in Beckley, and would love to continue to play West Virginia in Beckley, and we play in Charleston; (Appalachian Power Park) is a great facility. But land is the issue.”

Finding a site to construct a new stadium certainly presents issues. One former Marshall official recently indicated there would be too much red tape for certain tracts of land to be purchased or used because of regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency.

But Hamrick stands firm that finding a site is a priority. He and Huntington mayor Steve Williams were teammates at Marshall and have that very goal. There has even been speculation in published reports that a new stadium be used to attract Minor League Baseball back to Huntington.

“We’re searching every day,” he said. “We have talked on several occasions. We are going to aggressively look for land here in the next year to two years to where we can do something with a (potential) baseball stadium.”

Given Hamrick’s track record since he took over as AD nearly four years ago, don’t bet against a stadium becoming reality. At one time the indoor practice facility was thought to be a perpetual dream, but ground was broken last month. And there have been numerous upgrades to existing facilities.

“If you were to ask me when and where, I couldn’t tell you, other than we are making every effort. But we had to get these other facilities taken care of first,” Hamrick said. “And we had to improve the football facility. If you remember, three years ago we put new scoreboards in, new sound system in, videoboards. We put new lights in the Henderson Center. A new sound system in the Henderson Center. Air cooling units at the Henderson Center.

“I would feel safe to say (in the last three years), we have put — with what’s happening now — over $40 million into our athletic facilities. We’ve tried to upgrade them and improve them, and (build) new ones.

“But, baseball is next up on the agenda.”

— E-mail: gfauber@

register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Clark makes voice heard in return to Redskins

    Ryan Clark has been a showman, entertainer, spokesman, pontificator, critic, leader, mentor and fashionista — and that's just from one week of Washington Redskins training camp.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013
    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van. It's fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign K Suisham through 2018 season
    The Pittsburgh Steelers have given kicker Shaun Suisham a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season.

    August 1, 2014

  • RH 080114saints1.jpg Intensity reaches new level at Saints training camp

    Following their first day off from training camp on Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints reported to their new $30 million practice facility at The Greenbrier Thursday full of energy and with an edge that hadn’t been seen through the first five practices.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holliday.jpg Backup quarterback battle one to watch at Marshall

    Marshall has a pretty decent quarterback in Rakeem Cato, a Heisman Trophy candidate who is expected to lead the Thundering Herd to its most successful season in more than a decade.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Orleans practices bring back memories for Haas

    Bob Haas stood back away from the field Thursday, watching the action at the New Orleans Saints Greenbrier training camp intently but avoiding getting too close.

    August 1, 2014

  • Holgorsen: ‘The guys were pretty fired up’

    West Virginia University head football coach Dana Holgorsen said everybody in the country has a good first practice, but after his Mountaineers hit the field for the first time Thursday, he was glad he wasn’t focused on negatives.

    August 1, 2014

  • Wilson out indefinitely after Tuesday's injury

    Current New York Giants and former Virginia Tech running back David Wilson will not practice for the rest of the week and is out for Sunday's Hall of Fame game after suffering what the team called a "burner" in practice on Tuesday

    July 31, 2014

  • Steelers speedy rookie LB Shazier making quick impression

    The 15th overall pick in the draft is drawing raves from his teammates for his quickness and his coaches for his smarts.

    July 31, 2014

  • Less zone-read for RG3 under Redskins coach Gruden

    Robert Griffin III faked the handoff to Alfred Morris and took off down the left sideline, showing the burst of speed that helped him become the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. 

    July 31, 2014

Saints Training Camp