Baseball Stadium Named To Honor Samford

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn University Board of Trustees passed a resolution Friday to name the stadium at Plainsman Park, the W. James Samford Stadium.

The naming honors long-time Auburn trustee, Jimmy Samford, who spearheaded the efforts for the construction of the baseball facility in 1996 and additional renovations in 2001.

"I am humbled by the Board's actions," Samford said. "There are a lot of other people that could be mentioned that were also involved in the process. I appreciate the Board's actions on behalf of myself and my family."

Samford has served as a member of the Auburn Board of Trustees since 1987 and is the current President Pro Tempore. He has been committed to the improvement of Auburn's athletic facilities and the construction of Hitchcock Field at Plainsman Park illustrates that fact.

"We are honored to have the stadium at Plainsman Park bear the name of Jimmy Samford," Auburn athletic director David Housel said. "There has never been a more loyal and dedicated supporter of Auburn athletics than Jimmy. We are extremely thankful for his support in helping make Plainsman Park a reality. We, along with all of Auburn, have benefitted enormously from his contributions and leadership and it is only fitting that we name the stadium at Plainsman Park in his honor."

The home of Auburn baseball since 1950, Plainsman Park received a major facelift prior to the 1996 season with a $4.2 million renovation that included a new grandstand, lockerroom, concessions, and ticket and press box facilities. In 1995, the transformation process began with the installation of a new outfield wall, which included the 30-foot "Green Monster" in left field.

The design of of Plainsman Park combines the look of old-time ballparks with academic buildings on the Auburn campus to create a façade of brick and painted steel. Inside, the park offers the brick backstop of Chicago's Wrigley Field, the dark green chairback seats of Baltimore's Camden Yards and the Green Monster of Boston's Fenway Park.

The home of NCAA Regional play in 1978 and 1999, Plainsman Park underwent a $2.3 million renovation in the summer of 2001 that included the addition of 630 chairback box seats down the right and left field foul lines. Upon completion in February 2002, the new landscape provided a more intimate setting, allowing fans to have seats down each foul line within feet of the playing surface.

Prior to the 2003 season, Plainsman Park was named the top collegiate baseball facility in the nation by Baseball America.

The field at the Plainsman Park facility, was named Hitchcock Field in 1997 to honor Billy and Jimmy Hitchcock, brothers who became two of Auburn's most noteworthy athletic performers during the 1930s. It will continue to be called Hitchcock Field with the stadium bearing the name of Samford.

Auburn will hold a ceremony at the park in the near future to celebrate the naming of the stadium, the W. James Samford Stadium at Plainsman Park.

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