Duquesne Baseball Field|
Build it and they will come. At least that's what Duquesne baseball coach Mike Wilson had in mind. Starting in the spring of 1996, the Duquesne University baseball team began play in a ballpark it can now call its own. Construction of the field near the Parkway Center Mall in Green Tree, PA was completed in the fall of 1995. Since then, many enhancements have been made including batting cages, a storage area for field maintenance equipment and permanent bleachers behind home plate.
Prior to the completion of Duquesne Baseball Field, the Dukes never really had a field that they could call home. Now, thanks to the hard work of University officials, that has changed. An agreement between the University and Green Tree Borough was reached allowing both parties to benefit. Green Tree supplied the land while Duquesne financed the construction. While classes are in session at Duquesne between the months of September and May, Duquesne has first right of usage to the field. In June, July, and August, Green Tree borough has first right of usage for American Legion and other community league games. In addition, the Keystone Oaks school district uses the field to play a few high school games in the spring while the Dukes are on the road.
The addition of Duquesne Baseball Field has been a huge boost to the program. Since its construction, numerous school records have been broken including most wins in a season (26) in 2002 and a first ever berth to the Atlantic 10 championship in 2003. "Build it and they will come" could not be truer when it comes to the level of talent that has been recruited with the new facility. In 1998, Joe Beimel became the first player in University history to be chosen in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Beimel has now completed three full seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates Major League club. In 1999, Third-Team All American B.J. Barns was selected by the Pirates in the 6th round of the draft and reached Double-A Altoona before being traded to Tampa Bay where he finished the 2003 season with Double-A Orlando. Jim Davis, a 1998 graduate was signed to a free-agent contract with the Florida Marlins in 1999. In 2003, Gary Lee was signed to a free-agent contract with the San Diego Padres. Jim Popp was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2002 draft and by the San Francisco Giants in the 2003 draft.
The field is located about four miles from campus. Players are shuttled in vans to practices and games. The facility boasts an all grass infield contributing to one of the best playing surfaces of any Division 1 program in the Northeast. The dimensions of Duquesne Field are 400 feet to center field, 335 feet down the foul lines, and 365 feet to the power alleys. The entire field is fenced in and secured to avoid unauthorized usage. The outfield fence is covered with 6 x 12 advertisement signs, which are available for $1000/year or $2200 for 3 years. In addition, there is a public walking track around the field.