Memories of Siebert Field

  • Updated: April 30, 2012 - 9:32 PM

The last game at Siebert Field, which opened in 1971, will be played on Tuesday between the Gophers and St. Thomas. Here is what coaches, past and present players, workers and fans have to say about the ballpark:

• Gophers coach John Anderson on why it is special to him: "Memories, relationships, friendships. Great moments, difficult moments, disappointing moments. Just the history and tradition that has been created inside the confines of this place since 1971. It is just amazing to win 76 percent of the time out here."

• Gophers third baseman Kyle Geason, a fifth-year senior: "I actually have played 12-15 total at Siebert Field. ... I loved it. It is always great with the fans being right on top of the field. It just creates a good atmosphere. ... [Tuesday] will be a pretty special day. It will be good to see a lot of the alumni and returning players. They will be pretty nostalgic, but it will also be a good day to start [looking] to the beginning of a new Siebert Field. It will be fun to see how that process works."

• Volunteer Gophers coach Robb Quinlan, a Gophers first baseman in the late 1990s: "First and foremost, it is going to be great to have a new field, an upgraded stadium and everything that goes along with it. But, secondly, just being able to play back here on campus -- some of guys playing now are saying, it is tough to get a lot of their friends to drive over to the Dome ... [so] it will definitely be great to get back on campus. ... Everyone is looking forward to the demolition of this place to start getting the new one going. I was joking I was going to take the batter's eye with me, but I don't know how I am going to get it home."

• Dick Jonckowski, the public address announcer for Gophers baseball for 24 years: "[Siebert Field] was not very big. There were a lot of home run hits there. No lead was ever safe."

• Tom Witschen, the radio and webcast voice of the Gophers for 13 years: "It was a great, small intimate field. But [Siebert Field] was just getting old. You can tell by looking at the dugouts, the structure, the bathrooms, the press box. Sometime when it was cold, we would plug in space heaters and they would blow the circuit-breakers."

• Jeannie Campion, widely regarded as the Gophers' No. 1 fan, started following them during the 1994 MLB work stoppage. She is sad about the last game at Siebert Field on Tuesday: "I have so many wonderful memories of that place. And the new one is going to be like [the Metrodome] with the artificial turf. And they always did such a beautiful job taking care of the field." Her favorite memory from a game there is third baseman Jack Hannahan making a tumbling catch on a foul ball in the Big Ten tournament in 2000.

• Kurt Steensland, another longtime Gophers fan: "We started coming [to Siebert Field] in 1994. Kind of reminded me of the old minor league games with the Minneapolis Millers. It was very nice, it was very affordable and it was a good experience. It was the way I remembered baseball from my youth."

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