- 1114 S. State Street
- Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- (734) 647-2583
Being a former college baseball player, I’ve always been jealous of the guys who get to play in the Big Ten. When I was a Senior in high school, I went down to Champaign to pitch my case to “Itch” Jones. I wanted to play Big Ten baseball. Coach Jones told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t good enough to play in the Big Ten. He suggested junior college and see if I got better.
I didn’t take his advice. I went to a NAIA Division I school, played a year and a half and got cut halfway through my sophomore season. I could have went back to juco, but I gave up on a baseball and focused on my education and getting out of college as fast as possible.
Even though we were one of the top NAIA teams in the country, we shared our field with one of the local high schools. It was our field, but it was on their property. The field was ok, but it doesn’t compare to the minor league ballpark the team plays in now.
I tell you all this because I get chills every time I walk on the grass at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor. The field is part of the Wilpon Baseball/Softball complex. It sits in the middle of the athletic complex on State Street. The field is surrounded by Yost, Schembechler Hall, the track and field complex and Alumni Field.
Underneath the grandstand has a mini stadium feel to it. There are a couple concession stands that don’t offer anything unique, but Hungry Howie has a free standing cart if you’re craving a pizza. The press tower is home to the offices of the baseball and track and field teams.
I love going to baseball games at Michigan. I absolutely love what they did with their baseball stadium. Spring sports aren’t considered revenue sports, but it’s nice to see the baseball team get a little love.
A big part of recruiting athletes is the facilities. If you’re good enough to go to a tier one school, it’s usually the amenities that make up your mind. Ray Fisher Stadium just underwent a massive renovation. They added a permanent grandstand and press box. The fan experience at a U of M baseball game is second to none. There are a number of stadium seats for the regulars plus bench seating if that’s more your thing.