Troy State re-dedicates Riddle-Pace Field

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 29, 2002

Sports Editor

17 Trojans’ baseball players caught 17 first pitches as Troy State University officially re-dedicated Riddle-Pace Field on Friday in Troy.

"Instead of one person throwing out the first pitch we wanted to have everyone who was somehow involved in this project throw out one," announced TSU Athletic Director Johnny Williams.

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Featured guest speakers included Troy State Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Mayor Jimmy Lunsford and Dan Washburn, Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletics Association.

"You have some of the finest facilities in the state here in Troy," said Washburn. "You are to be commended and it’s an honor for us, at the AHSAA, to represent those thousands of senior high school athletes who come to call Troy State their home."

Other guests of note were the Troy State Board of Trustees, chaired by Dr. Doug Hawkins, Dan Smith, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, former head coach Chase Riddle, who led TSU to consecutive national titles in 1986 and 1987, and Chamber of Commerce President Marsha Gaylard.

The renovation to Riddle-Pace Field was completed just prior to the 2002 baseball season. Total cost was $1.8 million with Whaley Construction Company serving as the primary contractor on the facility. The wooden bleachers behind the backstop were torn down and an entirely new 2,000-seat grandstand erected in its place. Both dugouts were also expanded and the stadium now features a state-of-the-art press box and twin luxury suites.

"This certainly complements the other facilities we have here at Troy State," said Lunsford. "And we are strong here in the City of Troy and strong here at TSU, in no small part, because we complement each other."

Hawkins thanked the Board of Trustees saying the growth of Troy State athletics, since the move to Division I was approved in 1990, can be directly linked to their support.

"It all goes back to a solid foundation at the top," the chancellor said.

Hawkins also quoted a former Major League baseball player and member of its Hall of Fame.

"I think it was Dizzy Dean that said ‘it ain’t bragging, if you can back it up’", Hawkins said. "And that’s what our philosophy is here at Troy State. They’ve been playing baseball here since the 1940’s and this facility is now one that should match the quality of play and enthusiasm of our baseball teams."