Abe Martin Field

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Abe Martin Field
Location Saluki Drive, Carbondale, Illinois, USA
Coordinates 37°42′17″N 89°13′16″W / 37.704833°N 89.221205°W / 37.704833; -89.221205Coordinates: 37°42′17″N 89°13′16″W / 37.704833°N 89.221205°W / 37.704833; -89.221205
Owner Southern Illinois University
Operator Southern Illinois University
Capacity 2,000
Field size 340 ft. (LF), 370 ft. (LCF), 390 ft. (CF), 370 ft. (RCF), 340 ft. (RF)
Surface Rye grass (infield), Bermuda grass (outfield)
Scoreboard Electronic
Construction
Opened 1964
Renovated 1988, 2000, 2011
Expanded 1966
Tenants
Southern Illinois Salukis baseball (1964-present)

Abe Martin Field is a baseball venue in Carbondale, Illinois, USA. It is home to the Southern Illinois Salukis baseball team of the NCAA Division I Missouri Valley Conference. The field, opened in 1964,[1] holds 2,000 spectators.[2] It is named for former Southern Illinois baseball coach Abe Martin.[1] In recent years, both alumni and fans have complained about the venue's outdated features,[3][4][5] but renovation plans were announced in May 2011.[6]

History[edit]

After the field's 1964 construction, it remained undedicated until 1972. On April 30, 1972, the field was formally dedicated to Abe Martin. Martin coached Saluki baseball for 19 seasons (1946–1964) during a 33-year tenure at the university.[1] A scoreboard was also added around the time of the dedication.[7]

In the decades after the facility's opening, several minor improvements were made. In 1966, new bleachers, believed to have been taken from Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, were added.[1] Sportsman's, the former home of Major League Baseball's both St. Louis Cardinals and Browns, had closed earlier that year.[8] In 1988, a clubhouse was built. 2000 renovations saw bermuda grass installed in the outfield and batting cages beyond the right field fence.[1] In 2006, an electronic scoreboard was constructed past the right center field fence.[7]

2011 renovations[edit]

As Martin Field entered its fifth decade of use, calls for improving the aging facility increased.[3][4][5] The facility, called "Ancient Abe" by writer Todd Hefferman, is the oldest in use by a Missouri Valley Conference team.[4] In 2011, plans were made to update the field.[9]

The university announced in May 2011 a fundraising campaign to renovate Abe Martin Field. Planned additions include stadium lighting, a press box, fencing, and new dugouts. A new seating structure will be built, and Martin's combination rye and Bermuda grass surface will be replaced by FieldTurf.[6] Saluki head baseball coach Ken Henderson supported the effort, saying, "To take the next step, to take that next big step, we've gotta have that facility."[4] Computer images of the future facility were made available.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Abe Martin Field". SIU Salukis. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Abe Martin Field". The Southern. April 28, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Winkeler, Les (May 11, 2011). "Abe Martin Field needs a facelift". The Southern. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Hefferman, Todd (July 24, 2011). "Big goals, uncertain future for baseball project". The Southern. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Baseball alumni upset Abe Martin Field neglected in Saluki Way project". India Times' IPL Extra. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Southern Illinois: Abe Martin Field Restoration Project". College Baseball Daily. June 30, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "LED scoreboard update at Abe Martin Field". Service Matters. Southern Illinois University Plant and Service Operations. June 12, 2006. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sportsman's Park". Ballparks of Baseball. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Abe Martin Field Restoration Project". SIU Salukis. June 14, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 27 July 2011.