Saint Joseph's University announced that its new baseball field on the James J. Maguire '58 Campus has been named John W. Smithson Field. The school's Board of Trustees made the announcement at the final meeting of the academic year.
John W. Smithson Field
The University's Interim President during the past academic year, Smithson played for the Hawks from 1965 to 1968 and was inducted into the Saint Joseph's Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. A member of SJU's Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2007, he served as the Board Chair from 2003 to 2007, playing a key role in completing the negotiations to acquire the Maguire Campus.
"John's leadership and vision were instrumental to the acquisition of the Maguire Campus. He appreciated the dramatic impact it would have on our students' experience and particularly championed the effort to provide permanent home fields for our student-athletes here on campus," said Robert D. Falese '69, Chair, SJU Board of Trustees.
Smithson, who received his MBA from Saint Joseph's in 1982, was the recipient of the inaugural Harry Booth Award from SJU baseball in 2010 in recognition of his outstanding dedication to the program.
"John's passion and commitment to SJU athletics, and particularly the baseball program, are unrivaled. It's fitting that the field bear his name," stated Don DiJulia '67, Director of Athletics.
The Hawks defeated Iona, 5-1, on March 9, 2012 in the first game played on the field. It marked the first time that Saint Joseph's baseball hosted a game on campus since 1958.
The field features an industry-standard, state-of-the-art AstroTurf 3D GameDay Grass surface, the same synthetic surface in use at Major League stadiums such as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
The field also includes a new clubhouse and batting cages for use by the Hawks. The park features elevated bullpens, complete with benches and phones connected to the dugouts, a full press box, and bleacher seating for fans behind home plate.