By Kate Pipkin
Economics major and senior Michael Grewe throws one of the pitches that helped the Blue Jays’ win the April 2 game against the Dickinson Red Devils, 10-8. It was the Blue Jays first win in the brand new Babb Field at Stromberg Stadium. The $5 million facility is named for longtime baseball head coach Bob Babb, who recently notched his 1,000th win, and lead donor and university trustee Bill Stromberg, one of Hopkins’ greatest football stars and also a baseball player during his time at Homewood, from 1978 to 1982.
The stadium features an all-weather turf playing surface, home and visitor dugouts, and, behind home plate, a 260-seat, ADA-accessible grandstand with a modern press box. The infield and outfield are one uniform, baseball-specific synthetic surface made to appear to look like both grass and dirt. The field can rapidly drain water and be playable just 30 minutes after a heavy rain. The resilient surface will mean fewer rained-out games, and will be used by other varsity teams and recreational clubs when not in use for baseball.
Other features include new home and away bullpen areas, batting cages, and backstop and outfield fencing. A 20-foot net extends above the right-field fence to help
catch home-run balls before they reach University Parkway. The field has been outfitted with lights and a new scoreboard, which was made possible by a donation from Jim and Heather Murren, who is a university trustee.
The stadium replaces a field that had been in use since the 1930s, with only minimal renovations over the years. Fans sat on aluminum bleachers behind home
plate and down the first- and third-base lines.