Oxford-University Stadium/ Swayze Field
Construction of the $3.75 million stadium was completed in October, 1988, while landscaping and touch-up work was finished through the course of the 1989 season and through the summer months.
The stadium’s first action saw the Rebels sweep a doubleheader from Cumberland University on a bitter cold day, February 19, 1989. Still, a crowd of 1,016 braved the elements to be a part of that historic day in the school’s baseball history.
Ole Miss officially dedicated its new home on April 22, 1989, with a ceremony attended by many dignitaries, including Hall of Famer Whitey Ford and Ole Miss great Archie Manning. A sellout crowd of 2,967 attended and watched the Rebels down Kentucky, 4-3.
The ballpark has grown and undergone changes since its original opening date, including an $18 million renovation project prior to the 2009 season and a $19 million project scheduled to be completed in 2018. The latest project features an exclusive performance center for Ole Miss Baseball that features the following: a new locker room, weight room, training room, players lounge, team meeting room, indoor hitting cages and an indoor pitching tunnel.
A seating area was added beyond the right field fence in 1993, where hundreds of students have become accustomed to spending their sunny spring afternoons at the ballpark.
The outfield area has since undergone another transformation as a left field and right field lounge area was constructed during the 2000 season. The area, which is complete with picnic tables and barbecue stands was expanded again prior to the 2007 season.
In the fall of 2003, the Charles M. Merkel Hitting Complex, a 6,800-square-foot indoor hitting facility, was added to the ballpark, and the indoor batting tunnel underneath the first base stands has become an indoor pitching area.
Beginning with the 2006 season, the park received a new scoreboard which contains a large video board capable of showing highlights and replays throughout the course of the game. Then completed in front of the stadium was a new office suite to house the Rebel baseball coaching staff and support staff for the program.
The 2009 renovations to O-U Stadium added a new club suite level as well as a new press box down the third base line. The grandstands were also extended down both baselines with new box seats and grandstand seating.
On the third base side of the stadium, 2009 brought the Rebels a new locker room and lounge, as well as a brand new team room with theater style seating and audio-visual equipment. Also included was a new training room. Prior to the 2011 season, the Rebels installed a new HD video board and scoreboard to replace the one put in place for the 2006 season.
Last season, the Rebels debuted a brand-new videoboard in left field as well as ribbon boards behind the box seats down the base lines.
In February 2016, Ole Miss Athletics announced plans for a $19 million baseball project that will enhance the student-athlete experience as well as the gameday atmosphere for Rebel fans. There will be multiple phases to the renovations with the goal for the entire project be completed in 2018. The project will include the construction of a team performance center, dugout club and rooftop plaza on the first base side of the stadium.
Upon completion in 1989, the new Ole Miss baseball field was fittingly named Swayze Field in honor of the late Tom Swayze, one of the great legends in Ole Miss history. A three-year letterman in baseball at Ole Miss, Swayze later became head coach of the Ole Miss program. During his 21-year tenure at the helm of Ole Miss from 1950-1971, Swayze compiled a 361-201-2 record, which gives him a .642 winning percentage, the best winning percentage in school history. Swayze led Ole Miss to three NCAA College World Series appearances and four SEC Championships.
* Doubleheader after Friday game postponed due to rain.
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