Carleton Davidson Stadium

Carleton Davidson Stadium

Carleton Davidson Stadium, proud home of Wittenberg baseball.

Quick Facts


Built: 2003-04
Dedicated: April 23, 2004
First Game: April 24, 2004
L, 3-7 vs. Ohio Wesleyan
Seating Capacity: 1,056
Chairback Seating: 156
Lights: Yes
Surface: Grass (Blend)
Kentucky Blue, Rye, Fescue
Dimensions:  
   Foul Poles: 340 ft
   Power Alleys: 375 ft
   Center Field: 404 ft
Address: 1101 Mitchell Blvd.
Springfield, OH 45503

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About This Facility

Carleton Davidson Stadium is the home of the Tiger baseball team, and remains one of the premier NCAA Division III baseball facilities in the Midwest. Built at a cost of $2.66 million between 2003 and 2004, the stadium rivals even minor league parks in design and utility.

The stadium plays as a pitcher's park with expansive foul territory and dimensions of 400 feet to the center field wall, 375 to the left and right-center alleys and 340 down the lines. Enclosed bullpens serve the Tigers down the left field line and the visitors down the right field line, beyond each team's dugout. Offices and locker rooms for both teams and umpires are connected directly to the dugouts, along with secured equipment storage.

Single-A/AA minor league-quality lighting is provided by eight towers, four along the outfield fence and two along each line. Lighting was installed by Musco Sports Lighting, which has also installed systems at facilities such as the Lake County Captains, Single-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, the Ohio State University's Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium, and Marge Schott Stadium at the University of Cincinnati.

Chairback, open air seating behind home plate holds 156 spectators, while bleachers behind the first and third base dugouts each seat 450, of which almost 60 percent are under cover. The stadium boasts plentiful standing room on the concourse behind home plate with easy access to restroom facilities on each side.

Beyond the bullpen and just outside the fence down the left field line are two outdoor batting cages. Around the outer perimeter of the stadium, lawn space provides areas for team meals in between games of a doubleheader, and doors on the exterior facade of the stadium provide direct access to the locker rooms for athletes and coaches.

A paved and lighted parking lot leads to the gates of the stadium, located behind home plate. The entrance gates flank a full-service concession stand and the Springfield/Clark County Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which showcases the longstanding relationship between the area and the game. Above those is a spacious, climate-controlled and carpeted press box, where controls for the scoreboard and sound system are located.

In the spring of 2014, 60 percent of the field was resodded and regraded, including all of the foul territory and the infield, as well as all most of left field.

Carleton Davidson Stadium is located just two miles from campus on Mitchell Blvd., next to Buck Creek and near the intersection of Buck Creek and Little Miami Scenic trails.

During the winter training months, the Tigers utilize the HPER Center's Pam Evans Smith Arena and Gymnasium, along with the Heinzen Strength Center and Rosencrans Fitness Center year-round.

To read more about the opening day ceremonies and opening weekend games, visit the original press release here.

Accessibility: Carleton Davidson Stadium is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, and the Athletics staff is happy to make accommodations for interested patrons. The stadium features wheelchair seating on the concourse down each baseline. Please contact Head Baseball Coach Jay Lewis at 937-327-6494 for more information.

 

Carleton Davidson

The new stadium became a reality following the lead gift of $1 million to the capital campaign by the trustees of the Carleton F. and Ruth T. Davidson Trust.

Carleton was a prominent Springfield Chevrolet dealer, philanthropist and history enthusiast who, like many others in Springfield, became wealthy with an investment in the Cincinnati Insurance Company, founded in Springfield by Harry Turner.

Upon Davidson's death, a trust was established in his and his wife's names to help fund worthy projects in the Springfield area. The trust has donated to the Springfield Center for the Arts, helped erect a statue of George Rogers Clark in downtown Springfield, and assisted in creating a historic park at the site of the Battle of Peckuwe where George Rogers Clark earned his notoriety in the Revolutionary War, among various other projects.

The trustees agreed to provide the lead gift on the condition that the ballpark would bear Davidson's name. Carleton Davidson Stadium, as a result, joins Progressive Field in Cleveland and Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati as Ohio stadiums that owe their names to the insurance industry.

 

History

Carleton Davidson Stadium opened in 2004, late in the Tigers' baseball season, following a nearly year-long construction. Ground was broken on the site on May 16, 2003, following the demolition of the Springfield Municipal Stadium in June 2000.

The City of Springfield, the National Trail Parks and Recreation District (consisting of the city and Clark County park districts) and Wittenberg University all collaborated to elevate baseball to a premier level in the area by coordinating the fundraising and construction of a new facility. The result was Carleton Davidson Stadium, the first phase of a $17 million, five-year capital campaign that also included the Splash Zone public water park and a downtown ice rink.

The Stadium was opened to the public for the first time on Friday, April 23, 2004, for a ribbon-cutting and ceremonial first pitches by several members of the 1949 Springfield Giants. Wittenberg's contribution to the project was recognized that night with speeches by Vice President for Business and Finance Darrell Kitchen and Springfield Mayor and Wittenberg professor Warren Copeland, and before the first game the following day with ceremonial first pitches from President Baird Tipson and Kitchen.

David Hellmers of Architects Associated, Inc., designed the stadium, while the construction manager was Mark Varakojis of Turner Construction, working with Smoot Construction and superintendent Vince Unangst as general contractor.

Wittenberg played in Municipal Stadium between 1981 and it's 2000 demolition, when games were moved to the Annex Field, adjacent to the site of the stadium. Municipal Stadium was originally built in 1937 as a WPA project, and was the home of the Springfield Giants, a minor league affiliate of the New York Giants until 1951, and hundreds of youth league, high school and college tournaments.

Prior to relocating to the stadium, the Tigers played for nearly 80 years at Zimmerman Field following its purchase in 1902. Zimmerman Field, which was also home to the football team until 1923, was located where the practice field and Pam Evans Smith Arena currently stand. For more detailed information on the history of Zimmerman Field, visit the Edwards-Maurer Field facility page.

Baseball was one of the first sports played on campus, with frequent pick-up games taking place in Myers Hollow or a field southwest of Recitation Hall, where Koch Hall is now located. The varsity baseball team is reported to have played at various sites throughout the city of Springfield, including the old YMCA at Stanton Ave., now a residential area and also a historic site of competition for the football team.

John Strawn '07