Can turf bring good luck to UVU baseball?

A view from the stands at the UCCU ballpark as crews work to get the field ready for the opening pitch. (Photo by Hunter Hall)

Ask any athlete and they will tell you that they prefer playing in an atmosphere that is familiar, with fans that will cheer them on. The Utah Valley baseball team has yet to experience that atmosphere, which might explain their 3-10 record so far this year.

The closest the Wolverines have been to playing in familiar territory is when they travel five miles away to a rival diamond. Miller Park, home of the Brigham Young University Cougars, might be close to home, e, but that atmosphere hasn’t been too welcoming to the Wolverines in recent years. Since 2015, UVU has a record of 1-6 at Miller Park.

UVU will play their first home games on March 10-11, in a two-game series against Air Force Academy. Stepping onto their own diamond might not feel too familiar though.

An artificial turf field is being installed thanks to a large contribution from a donor last year. On Sept. 27, 2019, d?TERRA, a locally based health and wellness company, donated $17.7 million to UVU. The full story by the Review’s Jake Hilton can be read here

The renovation will consist of a new artificial turf field, and the name will be changed to the d?TERRA field at UCCU Ballpark.  

BALLPARK HISTORY:

The field was first christened on March 24, 2005, when the Wolverines were just a two-year state college. It debuted in a winning fashion in a 5-3 decision against Southern Utah. Two years later, the field was named Brent Brown Ballpark when Brent and Kim Brown, along with Ira and Mary Lou Fulton, donated to help pay off the bond used to build the ballpark. 

From there, naming rights were granted to the Orem-based credit union it is named after now. Those naming rights will remain until 2027, when the original 10-year contract between UVU and UCCU will come to an end. 

GOOD LUCK CHARM:

Though the UCCU Ballpark is a familiar atmosphere for the UVU baseball players and coaches, it hasn’t been winning territory. Since 2015, the Wolverines have only had one winning home record, going 14-10 in 2016. 

Some people don’t wash their socks the entire season or don’t wash the jersey of their favorite player, to try and bring good luck to their team. I’m not superstitious, but this face lift and artificial upgrade might just be what the Wolverines need to start a winning home season again.

UVU is scheduled to play 23 home games this season as long as the renovation is finished on-time. The athletic department is hopeful that the field will be ready to go for the opening pitch, but has a tentative backup plan to play the opening two games at Miller Ballpark if necessary.  

So, for now, prepare to welcome the UVU baseball team home, to their hopeful new good luck charm on March 10-11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.