Vanderbilt Baseball Getting Facility Upgrade

For a University which allegedly doesn’t take sports too seriously, Vanderbilt is about to spend big once again on facility upgrades for one of its premier teams. Pending approval by the board of trustees, the Commodores baseball facilities are going to be getting a $12 million upgrade beginning after the 2016 season.

The design calls for a three story building which will sit beyond the left-field wall and which will connect Memorial Gym to Hawkins Field. One of the most interesting design aspects of the facility is that the building itself will serve as a replacement for the 35-foot-tall green monster wall currently occupying the left-field area. This will keep the uniqueness of the ballpark, keep the distances in play, while putting a whole new facility in place right behind it.

Athletics director David Williams and his staff have certainly not been shy in spending the money to make Vanderbilt a contender in the SEC. This particular project spawned after Vanderbilt’s run to the National Championship last year and is seen as a key factor in maintaining the baseball program’s success by upgrading the facilities above and beyond anything available elsewhere in the country.

While the current baseball facility is new (2002) by almost all standards, it has not been able to cope with the rapid pace at which the program, and the university, has developed over the past ten years. This new facility will have a world class weight room, top of the line batting cages, a professional level player’s locker room and lounge and a media room. Perhaps the most interesting aspect, however, is the coaches’ offices which will be on the third tier overlooking left field.

The facility upgrades are being put in for three main reasons. Vanderbilt is looking to attract the elite of the elite recruits and the combination of a winning team and facilities at the level that are being planned will certainly help with that. The administration is also looking to better serve the current players who have brought about this unrivaled success and finally the facility upgrades are to better accommodate professional players returning to campus.

This link to the past is a huge point of emphasis for the ‘Dores head coach Tim Corbin. Vandy has nine players in the majors, 27 in the minors, and just had nine more players drafted into MLB. Establishing these links is another way to recruit elite prospects as they see the level of cohesiveness between the current program and some of the best players in the game.

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