OSU Adding Lights To Goss Stadium

Feb. 14, 2002

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CORVALLIS - Bert and Shirley Babb, longtime Oregon State University Athletics supporters, have made a gift enabling the Beavers to construct a new lighting system for Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

The eight banks of metal halide lamps will allow OSU to host night games and may lead to more televised baseball games and even tournaments.

'The lights are going to be Triple A baseball quality and will add to a great facility,' says Oregon State Baseball Coach Pat Casey. 'They will allow us to have a practice schedule in the fall that will help ease conflicts with class schedules. In addition to practicing later, we will also be able to host night games.'

Casey indicated that having lights opens the door for regional tournaments and other major events in the summer, like an American Legion national tournament. NCAA rules require that schools bidding to host playoff games have adequate lighting. Because of Babb's gift, OSU will have the facilities to bring these games to Corvallis.

'The Babbs' gift creates a lot of opportunities,' Casey said. 'The Babbs have been a huge part of the facility from the very beginning. It is neat to have them continue to support and enhance OSU baseball.'

Bert Babb served on the Goss Stadium steering committee, helped raise money for its construction, and made donations himself. 'I've been involved in sports, and especially baseball, for a long time and wanted to get baseball lights for the stadium,' he said. Babb added that it is more challenging to raise money for baseball than higher profile sports like football or basketball.

So Babb stepped up to the plate with his pen and checkbook once again. 'I wanted to see this happen,' he said.

'Bert and Shirley Babb have been incredible in their support for OSU Athletics, and specifically in helping build a foundation for our baseball program,' said Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart. 'We are indebted to their efforts. We look forward to their gift helping to provide OSU fans with high quality baseball for the years to come.'

Six poles will stand 80 feet high and two poles will stand 90 feet high, supporting over 150 1500-watt fixtures, exceeding the lighting standards of Triple A class baseball. Construction will begin in mid-February. In addition, all lamps will have glare control equipment to minimize off-site lighting.

The lighting is the finishing touch that completes Goss Stadium, which opened in the spring of 1999.

'The Babbs have been extremely generous to Oregon State University in many ways,' says OSU President Paul Risser. 'Their financial support is greatly appreciated, but in addition, Bert has given countless hours of his time to benefit the University's programs. This wonderful gift of lights for Goss Stadium builds of the gifts of other donors and will enable us to complete first-class facility.'

To honor Bert Babb's commitment to Oregon State Athletics, the Athletic Department presented him with the Martin Chaves Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and the Athletic Department Director's Award in 1993. The OSU Alumni Association awarded him the 1999 Dan W. Poling Alumni Service Award for his exceptional volunteer leadership.

Babb has had a long and successful career in business, owning Harold's Market in Veneta, the West Lane Thriftway, and the West Lane Shopping Center. Babb was a founding member and first president of the state's grocery association, Oregon Food Industries, and has served on the board of both United Grocers and Thriftway.

Both Bert and Shirley Babb have contributed time and money to many civic charitable organizations in the Willamette Valley, including American Legion baseball, Babe Ruth baseball, the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, Kiwanis, the Children's Miracle Network, and Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

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