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Doubleday Field

Doubleday Renovation

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Abner Doubleday, an 1842 West Point graduate, is said to have devised the game of baseball while on leave from the U.S. Military Academy in 1839, drawing out the diamond and the rules of the game. He called the game "Base Ball," but it was patterned after a game called "Rounders," which was played by boys and girls in England.

While the origin of baseball has been disputed, Doubleday, nonetheless, is still given credit and the baseball field at the U.S. Military Academy was dedicated in his honor in May 1939, the centennial year of baseball.

Despite the controversy, Doubleday distinguished himself throughout his military career, earning the rank of major general. He served in the Mexican and Civil wars. As a captain, he fired the first gun for the Union side in the Civil War at Fort Sumter. On Nov. 29, 1862, he was made a major general of the volunteers. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1873 and died Jan. 26, 1893, in New Jersey at the age of 74.

"The Home of Army Baseball" since games were first contested on its present site in 1909, Doubleday Field underwent a major $4.2 million renovation in 1996. Following an aggressive four month construction cycle, the new Johnson Stadium at Doubleday Field was formally dedicated at ceremonies on Sept. 13, 1996.

The goal of the project was to provide the U.S. Military Academy with an impressive facility suited to the storied heritage of both West Point and its baseball program.

Highlights of the renovation project included the construction of full locker rooms for both home and visiting teams, fully equipped training rooms, clubhouse facilities, and the addition of 880 fixed chair-back seats.

Great pains were taken in its design to draw an appropriate parallel between the new facility and the historic significance of its physical location on campus. Formal granite facing emulating many of USMA's older academic buildings was tastefully incorporated to address those means.

Internally, spacious locker rooms and clubhouse facilities provide coaching staff and team members with a sparkling home.

A beautifully conceived "Team Room," complete with two flat-screen televisions, a state-of-the art entertainment system and sparkling new furniture was completed last spring, providing Army's players with a comfortable place to relax.

Landscaping and sitework around the facility were intentionally subdued with the historic parade ground known as "The Plain" remaining dominant. In order to ensure that, overall height of the structure was minimized.

Doubleday Field itself underwent a major change this summer when a completely new natural playing surface was installed. In addition to installing state-of-the-art drainage and watering systems, the project included the addition of new bullpen pitching mounds, a host of dugout amenities and three fully lighted hitting tunnels.

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