FPU breaks ground on Daniel Martin Stadium

The three-phase upgrade on the Sunbird's own field of dreams will be unveiled at the start of the 2025 baseball season.  

0
361
Joe Bogart, Quiring; Matt Mazzoni, Kathy Herms, Kyle Ferguson, all FPU: Jerry Dyer, mayor of Fresno; Oscar Hirschkorn, André Stephens, Mark Deffenbacher, all FPU; Carol and Amanda Briscoe (BA '22), Briscoe family and Valley Iron, Inc. (FPU photo by Megan LeBlanc)

Fresno Pacific University broke ground on its own field of dreams February 21, 2024, signaling the beginning of work on Daniel Martin Stadium.

Funded by a $3 million gift from Fresno’s Daniel R. Martin Family Foundation and a lead gift from Valley Iron, Inc., and the Briscoe family, the facility will include a new concession stand and restroom, covered stadium seating for 700, a press box and a locker room. The three-phase upgrade will be unveiled at the start of the 2025 baseball season.

Student-athletes, administrators, board members, faculty, staff, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and representatives of the Martin family, the Briscoe family, Valley Iron, Inc., and contractor Quiring General, LLC, gathered at the field on the east end of the main FPU campus on a not-quite balmy afternoon, which nevertheless offered a peek at early spring—and baseball season—for Fresno. Tim Slack, director of athletics communications, served as emcee.

While the Case and Cat loaders standing guard over the ceremony represented the immediate task ahead, FPU President André Stephens looked beyond the day’s mud and puddles.

“This facility promises to be much more than just a structure; it will stand as a beacon of opportunity, community and excellence for our baseball program and indeed for our entire university community,” he said. “It reflects our core values of leadership, service and excellence. It’s about creating a space where our students can grow not only as athletes but as individuals prepared to make meaningful contributions to society.”

Oscar Hirschkorn has been head baseball coach at FPU since the team’s inception in 2006, leading the Sunbirds to seven regional postseason appearances, three World Series (NAIA and NCCAA) and victory in back-to-back World Series championships. He addressed the players; those present at the ceremony as well as those who have already run the bases and those whose at-bats are yet to come.

“This facility is for you. It’s a place where you’ll push your limits, celebrate your victories and grow, not just as athletes, but as men of character and dedication,” he said. “I am honored to be your coach and to stand with you as we embark on this exciting new chapter. Together, we will create memories that will last a lifetime and set new standards of excellence for Fresno Pacific University baseball.”

The day was a remarkable moment, said Kyle Ferguson, director of athletics. “Over a decade in the making, this project is a testament to God’s timing and the generosity of individuals like you.”

He singled out for special thanks major donors Teri Williams, Noel and Carol Briscoe, Jim and Lee Anne Briscoe, the late Ed Nachtigall and wife Bonnie and Kent and Katherine Anderson; FPU staff Kathy Herms, assistant director of donor engagement; Matt Mazzoni, assistant athletics director for external relations; and Aaron Henderson, former director of athletics.

“The Daniel Martin Stadium is a gift to our students, the greater Fresno community and a testament to God’s grace. Over time, we see his providence, and today, we break ground in his perfect timing,” Ferguson said.

Representing the greater Fresno community, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer spoke about the importance of the university and athletics in building people of character.

“Fresno Pacific University is a vital part of our city, and this new baseball facility will only strengthen that bond. It’s an investment in our youth, our community and our future. Congratulations to all who have played a part in making this dream a reality.”

Ceremony highlights at youtube.com/watch?v=cqtqYmkkHX0

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here