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08/17/2005

Winthrop Ballpark to Benefit from $1.5 Million Gift

Quick Facts

 President Anthony DiGiorgio announced the gift Wednesday, during his annual opening address to Winthrop faculty and staff.
 Construction on the next phase of the 2000-seat baseball park likely will begin in the spring.

ROCK HILL, S.C . - One of the largest single gifts in Winthrop University history $1.5 million  is being donated anonymously for use in the next phase of development for Winthrop Ballpark.
           
President Anthony DiGiorgio announced the gift Wednesday, during his annual opening address to Winthrop faculty and staff. In keeping with the donor’s wishes, the source of the gift was identified only as "a new friend … a baseball fan."                      
           
DiGiorgio said the benefactor "has been very taken with Winthrop Ballpark," the first phase of which opened in 2001, and "kept asking more about the second phase plans" for the facility, which have been awaiting funding. DiGiorgio dusted off the plan and showed the individual how space under existing stands could be enclosed to create a locker room, coaches’ offices, an indoor batting area, and a training room – things that had been part of the ballpark vision from its initial planning over five years ago.            
           
Winthrop also had attracted the benefactor’s attention, DiGiorgio said, by winning a record five Big South Championships this year: men’s basketball, volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis and baseball. Not to mention softball won its regular season title. A Winthrop baseball player was named the Big South Conference Scholar-Athlete for 2004-2005 as well.
           
DiGiorgio said the happy outcome of all that is that a facility already among the best of its kind will become even better.
           
"It is always gratifying when donors step forward to make their good fortune ours," he added. "Part of the joy of a university such as this one is that we present such a wide array of activities to which a wide array of individuals can match their generosity. Yet regardless of their area of special interest, they are united by the one special affinity they share: Winthrop."
           
Construction on the next phase of the 2000-seat baseball park likely will begin in the spring. Built by Leitner Construction Company of Rock Hill, the ballpark is used by the American Legion and Southern Collegiate baseball leagues in the summer months, after Winthrop’s season ends. 

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