March 7, 2012
SEATTLE - Tuesday night's ribbon-cutting ceremony at the brand new Wayne Gittinger Baseball Team Building marked a landmark for the Husky baseball program.
The new building, which houses the baseball team's locker room, coaches' offices, equipment room, training room and much more is a big first step in the upgrade of UW baseball facilities.
The project was funded by Wayne Gittinger, a pitcher on the Husky baseball team in the 1950s, and his wife Anne, along with the UW athletic department.
In front of a crowd of baseball supporters, former players and parents, Gittinger and third-year head coach Lindsay Meggs performed the ceremonial ribbon cutting after brief introductory speeches from senior associate athletic director John Morris and athletic director Scott Woodward.
After the ribbon cutting, the crowd entered the building where members of the 2012 Husky baseball team showed them around all of the various rooms. Among the visitors in attendance were players from as far back as the 1950s, including former head coach Dale Parker (1957-60), as well as players from every era since.
The current players and coaches moved into the building only last week and enjoyed its use during a four-game sweep of Saint Joseph's last weekend. Along with the locker room, equipment and training facilities, the building also houses the 1,400-square foot "Omaha Room," which serves as a meeting room or an area for fans and donors to watch the games. There is also a study room, video room and additional offices for baseball staff.
After the tours, the crowd gathered in the Omaha Room to hear from Meggs as well as junior pitcher Joshua Fredendall, who thanked everyone for their support on behalf of the players.
"This facility means so much more to us than simply for our players to have a home," Meggs said. "It allows us to recruit a lot of front-line players. It allows us to have credibility with parents when they bring their sons on visits."
"I can honestly say, as a team, we feel lucky to be able to call this facility our home," Fredendall said. "As Coach Meggs said, we really never want to leave."
The 9,000-square foot facility has met with rave reviews from visitors, players and staff. Both functional and stylish, the facility is outfitted with a number of large photographs and other graphics recalling the history of the program.
Construction began on the Wayne Gittinger Baseball Team Building just after the end of last season and, thanks in part to a mild winter in Seattle, was completed on time.
For a look back at the beginning of the project and all that went in to making it happen, check out this story from Gregg Bell.