North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
Donattons allow for new wooden baseball fence
OLD CHAIN-LINK FENCE WAS
IN NEED OF REPAIRS, NP -
WALL PROVIDES CHARACTER
BY TRAY LYNCH
If you have ever watched a Boston Red
Sox game or experienced Fenway Park
in person, then you know the "Green
Monster." It is a popular nickname for the
37-foot-2-inch left field wall dating back to
the days of Babe Ruth.
Recently, Guilford College's baseball
field has been remodeled, according to PE
Center Manager Mike Merkel.
"The wall creates a lot of character to
McBane Field," said Merkel.
McBane Field was named after Edgar
McBane '14, described as an athlete, orator
and one of the most popular members of
Guilford's 1914 student body.
"They made it a 'mini-monster' if you
will, sort of like the Red Sox," said Merkel.
Though adding "character" to McBane
Field, the new wall resolved a number of
issues that accompanied the old chain-
linked fence. Merkel noted that the chain-
linked fence, which constantly created
an unsafe environment for players in the
right field alley after heavy rains, needed
Additionally, the sharp ends of the old
chain-link fence links were starting to stick
out at the bottom of the fence.
"Coach Nick Black sat down and
came up with the idea of the wood wall,
rather than another chain-linked fence,"
said Merkel. "Coach found some donors
and (raised) the money to purchase the
They were lucky to have funds left over
after an infield makeover.
"We got a nice gift at the end of last
year," said Coach Black. "We used that
money to redo the infield, which hasn't
been done in almost 30 years.
"We had some left over ... so we decided
to go ahead and do the wall."
During the process, Guilford's
maintenance department, along with
players and coaches, helped assemble the
innovative baseball barrier.
"It felt like we were constructing Noah's
ark," said senior outfielder John Macon
Smith. "The construction crew really did
a good job.
"The fact that we helped build it gives
us more reason to defend our home field."
Players believe that home runs will
come at a minimum since right field was
pushed back a couple of feet, and the left
field wall has been raised higher.
"I think it will be beneficial to our
pitching staff," said sophomore infielder
"The ball will still fly pretty good if
it's hit square," said Smith. "But I would
be willing to bet that there will be more
doubles and triples and less home runs at
McBane this year."
Even though the wall was an in-house
job. Black said that it ended up costing
around $35,000. The majority oif that
amount was donor-driven.
"I was thankful that we had the wall
built," said Smith. "It is an awesome
addition to Guilford's baseball facility."
Some students would disagree with
Smith's statement as they feel Guilford
should raise money for other renovations.
"The library always needs more books,"
said first-year Colin Macintosh.
Another student sided with the decision
to build a new outfield wall.
"1 think the funds could have been
divided up somewhere else," said junior
Brandon Rothfuss. "But I know we
definitely needed a new baseball wall."
Guilford has set the tone for the Old
Dominion Athletic Conference with their
"Nobody in our conference has a wall
like that," said Black. "It's more of a
college-type ball park. I love it."
The chain-link fence that used to line the outfield of McBane Field has been replaced with a wooden
wall, which was built by the maintenance department with the help of baseball coaches and players.
"It felt like we were constructing Noah's ark. The construction
crew really did a good job."
John Macon Smith, senior outfielder
Spring sports preview
NCAA players to unionize?
BY KELLI URESTI
BY ROBERT PACHECO
ODAC Pitrher of the week
with six shutout innings. 1-0
with one save and a 3.48 ERA
Ends college career vwth
fourth-fastest time in school
history In 200 backstroke
Two hits, including a 3-run
home run and a double that
drove In five RBI’s