WSU Dedicates First On Campus Baseball Field

Posted on May 7, 2012 by

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By Steve Miller

Adviser

On Saturday, April 21, The City of Worcester and Worcester State University officially dedicated the Kevin D. Lyons Baseball Diamond at Rockwood Park, just before the squads MASCAC doubleheader against Bridgewater State University.

The Honorable Joseph Petty served as the master of ceremonies to an event that brought several state and local dignitaries, the Lyons friends and family together to mark the occasion.

“Events like this built by accident, they are built with cooperation, people working together and that is exactly how this field was built,” said Petty. “We couldn’t think of a better person to name it after than Kevin Lyons.”

Lyons was a two-time graduate of Worcester State – with a bachelor’s degree in 1965 and a masters degree in 1971, was a standout centerfielder and exceptional hitter on the 1964 and 1965 NESCAC Championship teams that posted a combined record of 26-1.

Lyons was inducted into the inaugural Worcester State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986 and he was an advocate for local youth and interscholastic athletic teams in the Worcester Community. He helped run the Press Box, a tavern on Lincoln Street, with his brother-in-law and helped make it a staple of the community.

Worcester State University and the Worcester State foundation contributed $540,000 toward 2.8 million, multi-year renovation project of Rockwood Field, which is city-owned property adjacent to the universities north parking lot.

President Barry Maloney, City Manager Michael O’Brien and other state and local representatives each made brief remarks about the important partnership between the city and the university, the background behind how the baseball field was rebuilt and eventually renamed after Lyons.

“Twelve years ago, I was the Commissioner for Parks and Dirk Baker walked into my office and we talked for hours about how we could bring this ball field back,” said O’Brien. “But in this city, we’ll find a way, even in tough economic times, we will look to see great projects like this come to fruition.

“We’ve invested seven million dollars from corner to corner of this facility and its all state-of-the-art. How fitting a tribute to such a champion in our community and Kevin’s legacy lives on in such a fitting way.”

City council member Michael Germaine also spoke about how the Press Box, that Lyons first established in 1990, did so many honorable things to improve the City of Worcester and the community at-large, whether it be hosting a funeral for someone, a family that needed some help financially or an American Cancer Society fundraiser.

“Whatever the cause was the Lyons family was there,” said Germain. “The greatest thing about Kevin (and his wife Kathleen) is what they instilled into his family, because those e-mails come every day and it’s because what Kevin taught his family.

“That’s what I want people to remember about Kevin, not (just) how great of an athlete he was, but how great of a human being he was and how great of a person he was.”

Lt. Governor Tim Murray noted that it was amazing how Lyons was able to bring people together, whether it be people from the Grafton Hill section of town, residents on the west side and everyone in between.

“This is about teamwork, Kevin understood teamwork in so many different ways, in the classroom and on the field, in business and giving back,” said Murray. “We all put our shoulders in the week to realize the vision of the people who loved Kevin, who knew Kevin and how he continued to give back to his alma mater.

“He represented a lot of what the City of Worcester is all about and what Worcester State University is all about. Giving back as a teacher and an educator”

A ceremonial first pitch which had each of his four grandchildren throw out a ball to four Worcester State baseball players in uniform concluded the event. A sign marking the walking trail around the perimeter of Rockwood Park was also unveiled prior to the dedication with support by the Reliant Medical Group Foundation.

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