The Palmeiro Center

Approximately 100 MSU fans and media attended the Palmeiro Center groundbreaking and press conference yesterday morning under the left-field grandstand of Polk-DeMent Stadium. Former Diamond Dog great Rafael Palmeiro, who gave the lead gift for the $3.8 million project, was on hand with his wife Lynne and two sons, Patrick Ryne and Preston Conner.

"I want to thank Coach Polk for bringing me the idea," said Palmeiro. "I thought it was a great idea when you brought it to me. I could have done other things, but for me this was the right thing to do. Thanks to Mississippi State University for the opportunity. It is an opportunity of a lifetime."

The new $3.8 million indoor practice facility, which will be located west of the Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium, will be used by both baseball and football and is expected to be completed by the first of March and ready for occupancy by mid-April.

"In our long-range capital campaign we had plans to build an indoor football facility on the hill behind the track," said MSU athletic director Larry Templeton. "However, Coach Polk and Coach Croom thought in the best interest of Mississippi State we ought to combined these two facilities. Rafael agreed to go along with this project."

The playing area of the facility will be 185 feet wide and 368 feet long with a ceiling height of 60 feet. The 68,000 square foot floor area will accommodate a completed baseball infield within the context of a full football playing field. Three retractable batting cages, which may be lowered from the ceiling, and football goal posts will also be included in the facility.

"Hopefully, it will give us an edge in recruiting," said Palmeiro. "Coach Polk does a great job anyway, but I think with this facility in place we will have the edge over the other great schools in the country. With this facility and this stadium, it's a no-brainer."

Included in the $3.8 million dollar project are baseball offices to be located between the facility and the current baseball stadium.

"Some places build these things for about 20 million dollars but the price here is much, much less," said MSU President Dr. Lee. "It is another example of our commitment, because we have all of these people who care, to stretch the private gifts that we have."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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