Campbell University announced plans to finish work on the home of the Camels, with the new facility to be named after alumnus and former Cy Young Award winner Jim Perry.
The North Carolina school, which has always been regarded as having a good baseball program, has emerged as a power in recent years under coach Greg Goff, winning 41 games and a second-place finish in the Big South Conference in 2012. The final stretch for a new ballpark, according to athletic-department officials, is the result of years of work to uograde the school's facilities.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” Perry said at a press conference announcing the ballpark plans. “This is a very special place for my wife and I. We came to Campbell College, now Campbell University, a long time ago. We met here. The good Lord above has given us the ability and the opportunity to give back and help Campbell University.”
“It’s a great day and I’m proud to be the head baseball coach at Campbell,” Goff said. “To see these young men who came here with the belief that this was going to happen one day and the belief in our coaching staff and the administration. Every day I go out to the ball park and see this process move forward. I just want to say thank you all the people that made this day happen. The opportunity for our stadium to be named after Mr. Jim Perry is a great honor. Not only was he a great pitcher, but he is a great man.”
Perry won the Cy Young Award in 1970 while pitching for the Minnesota Twins. He won 215 games over a 17-year career that included stints with the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Oakland Athletics. He combined with little brother Gaylord Perry to notch 529 wins -- the second-most for brothers in MLB history, behind Phil and Joe Niekro.
The completion of the ballpark project includes a new grandstand seating 630, including 310 chair-backed seats. Previous work on the ballpark included a new entrance gate and ticket booth, restroom and concession facility, exterior wrought iron fencing and improved exterior landscaping. Progress continued in October of 2012 with the demolition of the existing grandstand, press box and former concession stand.
Image by Bennett Scarborough, courtesy of GoCamels.com.
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