MACON, Ga. – Mercer University’s Board of Trustees, meeting today on the Savannah campus at Memorial University Medical Center, authorized construction to begin on Claude Smith Field at OrthoGeorgia Park, a new baseball stadium on the Macon campus.
Construction on Claude Smith Field at OrthoGeorgia Park is expected to get underway shortly after the home season ends in early May. The new stadium will accommodate 1,500 fans and feature premium chairback seating behind home plate. Other features include new dugouts, concession and restroom facilities, press box and camera positions for ESPN3 broadcasts, two open-air suites, a ticket booth, and the M. Diane Owens Entry Plaza.
“We are excited to begin construction on Claude Smith Field at OrthoGeorgia Park after the season,” said Director of Athletics Jim Cole. “This new facility is a fitting home for an established baseball program and will provide a great atmosphere for our players, coaches and fans.”
Claude Smith Field at OrthoGeorgia Park is named in recognition of a lead gift provided by Macon-based OrthoGeorgia last year. Click here for the full release regarding OrthoGeorgia’s lead commitment.
Claude Smith Field, among the finest playing surfaces in all of collegiate baseball, is named for one of the University’s all-time winningest baseball coach, who guided the Bears to 405 victories from 1948 to 1977. The venue underwent its last renovations, which included improvements to the playing surface and construction of an indoor hitting facility, in 2003.
Over the past decade, the Bears have elevated the program to a new level under the guidance of head coach Craig Gibson. The program has reached the NCAA Tournament in three of the past six years, including in 2015 after the Orange and Black swept the Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles. The Bears are one of only nine NCAA Division I programs to win at least 35 games each of the past six years, providing an exciting offense that leads the nation with 371 home runs during that span.
Additionally, since 2005, over 70 percent of players have made the conference All-Academic Team. The Bears have maintained a team GPA above 3.0 over the past seven seasons. In 2014, the team placed an unprecedented two players – senior shortstop Michael Massi and senior outfielder Derrick Workman – on the Capital One Academic All-America First Team. The honor marked Workman’s second straight season being named one of the top students among all Division I baseball players.
At OrthoGeorgia, we want to help you live a healthier and more comfortable life by giving those in Macon, Warner Robins, Kathleen, Milledgeville, Dublin, Griffin, and the surrounding areas convenient access to the highest quality care. Whether you have been suffering from a sports injury or a common orthopaedic condition, we will determine the cause of your discomfort and craft a personalized treatment plan to bring you relief. To learn more about our services and our physicians, or to schedule an appointment at OrthoGeorgia, please contact us today.