Nov. 14, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - As former Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki began his acceptance speech into the Long Beach State Hall of Fame, he pledged a generous $1 million donation toward Long Beach State's renovations of Blair Field.
Tulowitzki's gift comes as part of a $16 million campaign that is currently underway to fully support the planned renovations at the Dirtbags home field.
"Troy Tulowitzki is a special player and person who has made a very generous and impactful commitment to our baseball program; Too few professionals are inclined to give back," Long Beach State Athletic Director Vic Cegles said. "His $1 million pledge is a direct result of his personal and athletic experiences on campus and the great relationships he had with coaches, professors and teammates. He is a true and loyal `Dirtbag.'"
The ambitious project includes several upgrades to the 55-year old Blair Field. The plans include a new practice infield that will be built down the left field line as well as a new batting tunnel that will house five cages down the right field line.
Also along the right field line will be a new building that will include new offices, an improved athletic training room and a brand new locker room. The renovations will also continue into the stadium itself to improve the fan experience. Added bathrooms and concessions are among the plans for the renovation to the stadium.
"[Tulowitzki's donation] is great for our University, it's great for our program and it's also great for college baseball. You have a superstar that, regardless of how much money he makes, has the ability to want to give back to where he came from. It's amazing," head baseball coach Troy Buckley commented. "We are really, really lucky. I feel fortunate for him to want to give this type of gift to help us get better."
Tulowitzki started for three years at the Beach from 2003-05, earning All-American and All-Big West honors after both his sophomore and junior season. He was picked seventh overall in the MLB Draft after his junior season and has gone on to become a superstar in the Major Leagues.
He made an immediate impact upon his arrival into the Majors and was second in the voting for National League Rookie of the Year in 2007. He has played in the All Star game three times in his career and has won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.
Buckley also commented on Tulowitzki's donation, "This gift couldn't come from a better person. He's extremely loyal and has a ton of passion. He respects where came from and always has. We are very blessed and fortunate to have him show that commitment back. The generosity, the giving and the thoughtfulness is just outstanding."
"Receiving a gift like this from a former student-athlete gives you a lot of momentum for the campaign. I think it's important for everybody to give back to their University," added in Cegles.
Long Beach State hopes to break ground on the renovation to Blair Field following the Dirtbags' 2015 season. Blair Field was opened in 1958 and quickly became the home for southern California amateur baseball. Hundreds of future Major League players have occupied its dugouts and played on its diamond throughout the years.
The Dirtbags became the official tenants of Blair Field in 1993, following a $1.4 million renovation to the then 36-year old structure. Over the years, the city of Long Beach and Long Beach State have continued to upgrade the facility and have most notably installed a $300,000 scoreboard and video board. In 2011, Long Beach State entered into a 55-year lease with the city to continue calling Blair Field the home of the Dirtbags.
Blair Field is not just home to the Dirtbags. Five Moore League high school teams also call Blair Field home. The stadium also hosts a number of amateur tournaments in addition to being the site for countless films and commercials.
For more information on the project or to make a donation, contact Dedan Brozino at firstname.lastname@example.org or (562) 985-7441.
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