UConn’s new baseball fa­cil­ity named in honor of Dan­bury na­tive Doug El­liot

The News-Times - - SPORTS -

UConn’s new on-cam­pus baseball fa­cil­ity in Storrs will be known as El­liot Ball­park, named in honor of Dan­bury na­tive and UConn grad­u­ate Doug El­liot.

The 1,500-seat fa­cil­ity is un­der con­struc­tion and will open in the spring of

2020. El­liot, a

1978 Dan­bury High grad­u­ate and a mem­ber of the school’s ath­letic hall of fame, played baseball at UConn from 1979-82. His son, Doug, played for the Huskies from 2007-11.

The pres­i­dent of the Hart­ford Financial Ser­vices Group Inc., El­liot has been a long­time con­trib­u­tor to UConn baseball and has been an ad­vo­cate for con­struct­ing a new sta­dium. He was a found­ing mem­ber of the Dugout Club — the UConn baseball pro­gram’s sup­port group — in 1991, and he was awarded the Red O’Neil Award from the UConn Club in 2006.

El­liot and his wife, Sheila, met at UConn.

“We are ex­cited and proud that the Board of Trustees has ap­proved the nam­ing of our new baseball fa­cil­ity in honor of the El­liot family,” UConn ath­let­ics di­rec­tor David Benedict said in a state­ment. “Doug and Sheila El­liot’s long­time com­mit­ment and strong sup­port have greatly con­trib­uted to the success of our baseball pro­gram. As a for­mer baseball stu­dent-ath­lete him­self and the fa­ther of another, Doug is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of re­main­ing a part of the UConn family. It is fit­ting that fu­ture baseball Huskies will play on a field that bears his name.”

El­liot played for Andy Bay­lock at UConn, hit­ting .285 with seven home runs and 48 RBIs over his ca­reer. His son hit .298 with seven home runs and 79 RBIs, playing un­der Jim Pen­ders.

“Doug has been an un­be­liev­able men­tor, con­fi­dant, friend and sup­porter,” Pen­ders said in a state­ment. “Very early on after I got the job, I was look­ing for ‘How can we make this bet­ter?’ and he agreed that we had to build a new fa­cil­ity. It’s been a long time and he and Sheila have been with me ev­ery step of the way. They have been such gen­er­ous sup­port­ers in many ways, in­clud­ing emo­tion­ally. And I think Sheila might be a big­ger fan than Doug. They are just fan­tas­tic peo­ple.”

El­liot said he first be­came en­am­ored with UConn baseball while watching the Huskies play in the 1977 NCAA playoffs at Palmer Field in Mid­dle­town. His as­so­ci­a­tion with the pro­gram has been con­stant since.

“It’s UConn — Husky spirit gets in your fabric and never lets go,” El­liot said in a state­ment. “I played there, met Sheila there, received a ter­rific ed­u­ca­tion and had an in­cred­i­ble life ex­pe­ri­ence along the way. Then I had a front-row seat as Doug had a sim­i­lar pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence as do many of our stu­dent ath­letes who wear the Hook C. That we were able to go through it to­gether as a family was very spe­cial.”

The new park will be lo­cated next to the ice rink just off Jim Cal­houn Way, across the street from J.O. Christian Field. The three­sided sta­dium will have ar­ti­fi­cial turf, up­graded drainage, lights, a video score­board and suites. The home locker room will in­clude show­ers, lava­to­ries and a play­ers’ lounge, and an ad­ja­cent building will in­clude the coaches’ of­fices.

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