The new Earle Combs Stadium is expected to be completed in March.
As part of a widespread improvement to athletic facilities across the Eastern Kentucky campus, the design is intended to blend with the original campus architecture, while creating a modern sports facility, which will add to both the student-athlete and fan experience.
This newly renovated facility will also serve the local and regional communities. Modern facilities like this will attract events such as high school tournaments, club tournaments and camps, bringing many prospective students to EKU’s campus each year.
The transforming renovations will include a new team locker room and indoor hitting facility. In addition, a new team dugout and climate controlled press box, which will accommodate enhanced radio and video broadcasts, will be added. The facility will feature banners celebrating the accomplishment of former and current Colonel student-athletes.
The indoor hitting facility will provide the teams with an area to practice during any weather conditions.
The new Earle Combs Stadium will add a new grandstand featuring a brick façade and more than 900 seats, including 429 chair back seats, along with handicap-accessible seating and a new concession area equipped with restrooms. Also being added is an entry plaza for pregame gatherings. A canopy will provide coverage for fans in the stands, and improve the pitcher’s view of home plate.
“We are thrilled with the upgrade of our baseball facilities,” EKU Head Baseball Coach Edwin Thompson said. “This is going to benefit the student-athlete experience for our current and future players. The development of players and the fan experience will be greatly impacted as well. We are grateful for the leadership from President Michael Benson and Director of Athletics Stephen Lochmueller to help enhance the vision of our baseball program.”
The new baseball stadium will be named in honor of Hall of Famer Earle Combs. While a student at Eastern Kentucky, through persuasion of his friends and the students who saw him hit two home runs against the faculty in a practice game, he decided to go out for the Eastern team. He immediately became a member of the team and a hero to the students, slamming at least one home run in every game he played and compiling a .596 batting average that first year.
Combs played for the New York Yankees from 1924-35, compiling a lifetime batting average of .325. He was the leadoff hitter for the great “Murderer’s Row” Yankee teams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York, July 26, 1970.
Combs also served as Chairman of EKU’s Board of Regents.