Quinnipiac alumni, players’ families help celebrate Bobcats’ new baseball field

April 08, 2024

Baseball alumni throw out the first pitch.

A unique vision for the future, backed by a tradition of philanthropy and teamwork, shines in the diamond of Quinnipiac’s stunning new turf baseball field, one of the top facilities in the Northeast.

On April 6, the culmination of years of planning and effort was celebrated with a special event hosted by the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs as well as the Quinnipiac Baseball Booster Club.

Bobcat baseball alumni and parents of players joined club founders, members of the project team, Quinnipiac Athletics and administrative leadership at the Alumni House event. Capping off the big day, Quinnipiac baseball’s first home game on the new field earned a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game win over the Iona Gaels.

Five members of the Bobcat community who have made a massive impact on the program and university took the field to throw the ceremonial first pitch, including former players Bobak Emamian, Frank DeFrancesco, Ryan Rizzo, Kevin Macilvane and John Delaney, now in his 10th season as head coach for Quinnipiac baseball.

At the Alumni House event on the Mount Carmel Campus, Macilvane described how the concept to bring in the field was born six years ago as an idea among friends who went on to form the booster club.

The Baseball Booster Club was formed with three guiding principles: to continue to connect the players and the families of the players to the program they love, to create an operational fund to provide resources for the team and to bring in a premiere playing field.

"At times we didn’t think it was possible. But through some faith and some tremendous partnership, through all of your support, both your time and energy and your financial contributions, it was," said Macilvane. "This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a significant moment with the field, but even more importantly, to celebrate it with all of our friends and all of our family members.”

Macilvane said the project was also made possible through the inspired teamwork and leadership of Delaney as well as Quinnipiac Director of Athletics Greg Amodio, Vice President of Alumni and Development Nick Wormley and President Judy Olian.

Delaney said the project team is proud of what this effort was able to build.

“This is by far one of the top facilities in the Northeast,” said Delaney. “To see where it was before to where it is now is remarkable and the only reason why that happened is because of the support we have here, from the parents, alumni, administration, from President Olian. All of that is the only reason why this became a reality.”

Delaney also thanked and recognized his former coach, Quinnipiac legend Dan “Skip” Gooley, now a member of Delaney’s staff as director of baseball operations.

Olian said the new field was built on the energy of its committed leaders and delivered with the assistance of boosters who believed in the idea and demonstrated their support.

“All of you have made this happen,” said Olian. “I heard from you all constantly. It was persuasive and it was convincing. It wasn’t just the case that you made, but to see that you were so willing to put skin in the game was inspiring — because it showed how much you cared. So thank you for doing that.”

Olian also thanked the players’ parents for helping to shape well-rounded student athletes who are among the university’s best academic performers. She said all of Quinnipiac is inspired by the university’s aspirational athletic program of 21 Division I teams, including the baseball program. Olian also recognized Delaney and Gooley for their impressive impact on Quinnipiac baseball through the years.

“Our athletes are the rallying cry for the whole university, for Bobcat Nation,” said Olian. “They are role models on campus. We expect them to be engaged and to embody the behaviors that we aspire to, and they do. I’m really proud of them." 

Alumni Bobcat pitcher Joseph Roche, ’77, said he’s stayed connected with Gooley through the years and was eager to help when he heard about the plans to bring in a new field.

“I’ve tried to help them out,” said Roche. “We were Division II at the time I played on the old field here. We used to get some wet grounds in right field and we didn’t have a fence."

Roger Beale, ’73, was a shortstop for the Bobcats who grew up in Hamden and still lives in town.

“When I got here, they just opened a new gym,” said Beale. “It was a great experience and I’ve watched it grow. I’m really amazed at what they’ve done here now.”

Wormley said it was exciting to be a part of this project journey, to hear the voices of its special partnership and help celebrate the new field.

“Sometimes, I have a hard time stepping and looking back at it,” Wormley said. “For me, being an athletic alumnus and seeing some of my friends that participated in this and seeing guys that I used to cheer for on the baseball team; it’s pretty special to have them here and everyone one of them saying, ‘Wow, that field is amazing.'”

Support the baseball team

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now