Baseball at Spartanburg Methodist College is looking a lot brighter these days…and nights, thanks to a generous gift that was specifically designated for lighting the C.B. (Slim) Mooneyham Baseball Field.
The lights are in honor of SMC Alum J. Wesley Sparrow, Jr. and former SMC Director of Admissions Henry B. Sparrow, II as well as the SMC baseball teams of 1977 and 1978. Baseball is of great interest to the Sparrow family and John Sparrow donated the major gift with baseball specifically in mind. Wesley Sparrow served as the student manager for the SMC baseball team in 1977 and 1978. In fact, the opportunity to serve as the student manager was the deciding factor for Wesley attending SMC over Charleston Southern.
“This gift is transformative for SMC! Our players will no longer have to miss afternoon classes or labs because of games that could only be held in the daylight; afternoon or morning rain outs can be rescheduled for evening games and rain delays won’t be game-ending,” shared SMC President, Dr. Colleen Perry Keith. “The list could go on. It’s a big deal for us and serves to make SMC more competitive as our complex will be improved.”
Keith commended Bob Fuzy, VP of Institutional Advancement, SMC Baseball Coach Tim Wallace and former SMC President Charlie Teague for their assistance in working with the Sparrow family for such a wonderful gift…a gift that will forever change the game of baseball at SMC.
The Mooneyham Baseball Field is one of three facilities composing the Olin D. Johnston Outdoor Athletic Facility, named in honor of the late Mr. Johnston who was a graduate of Textile Industrial Institute and served as Governor of SC and as a U.S. Senator. The other facilities include the Fred Nash Soccer Field and the William C. Buchheit Tennis Complex.
SMC is planning a dedication ceremony for the lights during a double header against Surry Community College on Saturday, February 8. The 3:30 p.m. dedication, which will follow the 1 p.m. game, will include the installation of the official naming plaque, as well as appearances by players, coaches, support staff of the ’77 and ’78 teams and other SMC supporters, will be held in Ellis Hall. Terry Floyd, Coach of the SMC 1977 and 1978 teams, is expected to throw out the first pitch at the 5 p.m. game.