One of college baseball’s top facilities will have a new name, as the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a name change for the baseball team’s ballpark: Baum-Walker Stadium at George Cole Field.
The name changes comes in recognition of support from the Walker Family and the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. The Walkers gave a signature gift to enable the University of Arkansas to build Baum Stadium in the early 1990s. Initial plans had called for a renovation of the existing George Cole Field, but thanks in large part to the Walkers’ gift, and a gift from their friends, the Charlie Baum family, a new state-of-the-art ballpark was constructed. The Walkers have remained steadfast supporters of the Razorbacks, including Razorback Baseball. Most recently, the Walker Charitable Foundation pledged $5 million in support of a new Baseball Performance Center to be constructed in the right field corner of the ballpark.
“For more than four decades the Walker Family has been integral in the transformation of Razorback Athletics and most importantly the enhancement of the lives of our student-athletes,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “Nowhere has that been more evident than with their support of Razorback Baseball. Through their unwavering support of our program, the Walker Family has enabled our baseball program to emerge as one of nation’s best. The beautiful place we call home for baseball wouldn’t exist without the Walkers. I want to thank Johnny Mike (Walker) and Mandy Macke for their continued commitment to the Razorbacks. It is fitting that from this day forward, this iconic ballpark will celebrate not only the Walkers’ tremendous contributions to our program, but the friendship that linked these two special families.”
Arkansas will open its 2019 season at Baum-Walker Stadium on Friday, February 15 against Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m.
Arkansas previously dedicated the facility’s playing surface in honor of former athletic director George Cole. The upcoming 40,000-plus square foot Baseball Performance Center is slated to completed in 2021.