As Saluki baseball players will attest, there's no place like Abe Martin Field on game day.
Named on April 30, 1972 in honor of Glenn "Abe" Martin, the facility has served as home for the Salukis since 1964. Martin retired in 1971 after 33 years of service, including 19 as SIU's head baseball coach.
One of the reasons for the Salukis' success has been the support of the home fans. Though no official attendance figures have been kept, crowds as large as 4,000 have swarmed in and around Abe Martin Field. The overflow of crowds settle on the hill behind the first base dugout to form SIU's unique "Hill Gang."
Located south of the SIU Arena, the ballpark features a natural Bermuda grass field, a brick backstop, a crushed-brick warning track and a state-of-the-art electric scoreboard. The field is completely surrounded by wooden fences, including an eight-foot high maroon outfield wall.
The symmetrical dimensions of Abe Martin Field measure 340 feet down the foul lines, 370 feet in the power alleys and 390 feet to straightaway centerfield.
Prior to the 2012 season, the clubhouse, located down the third baseline received a renovation. Included in the improvements were 34 new wooden lockers along with 34 padded seats featuring the Salukis logo. The spacious new lockers provide a clean, modern design, and each individual locker features a power outlet.
Players can relax in the clubhouse lounge, which features leather couches and a flat screen TV. The clubhouse also houses the Saluki coaches' offices and an athletic training room.
Also located on the Abe Martin Field grounds is a four-tunnel, outdoor, carpeted batting unit. SIU's hitting complex is located adjacent to the field and was recently equipped with two state-of-the-art pitching machines.