MSU baseball continues to set the standard

MSU's Dudy Noble Field is recognized as one of the crown jewels of on-campus baseball facilities. While MSU has set the standard for the rest of the league, other SEC schools have followed in State's footsteps, from building new ballparks to adding on to existing facilities. Now it appears that the MSU administration is prepared to take that tradition a step further.

Plans have already been drawn up for a facility that will house an indoor practice area, coaches offices and a banquet room that will top any facility of its kind in the country.

"I don't know of any other school in the conference that has a facility of this type," long-time MSU baseball sports information director Joe Dier said. "Kentucky has an indoor facility that it shares with football and other sports that is really nice. But what this building will do that theirs won't is house a facility for baseball only. I'm sure softball will have access to this building, but it will primarily be a baseball facility."

MSU administration is currently seeking a single donor to pick up the price tag. State skipper Ron Polk estimated that 1.6 million dollars would seal the deal, while Dier placed the range between 1.5 and two million.

Former coach Pat McMahon started the project a couple of years ago. The need for office space has been a problem since Polk was serving his first stint as coach. Currently, the baseball office is in the Humphrey Coliseum, but the offices are cramped and crowded. McMahon also saw the new facility as an opportunity to gain a valuable recruiting tool that could be matched by virtually no one.

When Polk returned last June, he immediately picked up the project. The Foil-Wyatt architect firm, which oversaw the addition of skyboxes to Dudy Noble two years ago, as well as the addition at Scott Field and the on-going project of the new alumni affairs building, was selected to draw up the plans.

While the plans are in no means set in stone, they do give an idea of what the addition will look like. It appears that plans are in the works to pave the grass parking lot that is behind the baseball facility and adjacent to Humphrey Coliseum.

"The facility will provide an opportunity to have banquet meetings there, such as the First Pitch Banquet," Dier added. "There has also been mention of a room or area to house memorabilia."

Included in the plans is a Wall of Fame, which would be located down the right field line, adjacent to the right field grandstands. The area would provide fans a chance to reflect on games and players of State's storied baseball past.

"Right now we are in the process of finding a suitable donor for this project," Polk said. "We are looking for someone who has the resources and the interest in helping us get started."

Sources indicate that Mississippi State is talking to a possible donor, and that if a deal is struck, the project will begin at the conclusion of this season.


Aaron SonesAaron Sones is a free-lance correspondent for Gene's Page. Aaron, who is a student at Mississippi State University, works part-time in the MSU Athletic Department. He is also co-host of WFCA FM 108's Gameday show which airs two hours prior to each football game. You can contact him by email at asones8@aol.com.

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