May 10, 2013
On May 9, 2013 the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees officially approved a full renovation of Abe Martin Field, and construction will begin shortly following the 2013 season. The renovation is slated to be completed for the 2014 baseball season, and the park will be renamed Itch Jones Stadium after legendary Saluki head coach Richard "Itch" Jones. Jones took SIU to 10 NCAA Tournaments and three College World Series in his 21 years at Southern Illinois. He also led the campaign for the stadium renovation. The team clubhouse will be named after late head coach Dan Callahan, the second-winningest coach in school history with 442 victories in 16 seasons.
For the past 49 years, players and fans have witnessed many exciting moments at Abe Martin Field. Today, you have the opportunity to ensure that Saluki baseball can continue to be enjoyed in a safe and comfortable stadium environment. Donations for the project are still being accepted. For more information on how you can help, see the attached brochure near the top of the page or simply Email Casey Hale, SIU Assistant Athletic Director for Development at 618-453-5625.
Abe Martin Field was built in 1964 and much of the 49-year-old facility still stands today. It is said that Abe's bleachers were taken from the historic Sportsman's Park in St. Louis after it was demolished in 1966. Major additions to its landscape include the addition of a clubhouse in 1988, and the installation of a Bermuda grass outfield and batting cage complex in 2000.
When completed, the renovated Abe Martin Field will provide Saluki baseball a home that reflects the great history and tradition of the program. Added to the existing club house and batting cage area, the renovated complex will be one of the premier on-campus venues in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Renovations will include:
Installation of FieldTurf
A Grandstand Seating Bowl
Renditions provided by 360 Architecture