UConn to call new baseball facility Elliot Ballpark
Storrs — UConn's Board of Trustees announced Wednesday that the school's new on-campus baseball facility will be named in honor of former catcher Doug Elliot and his family.
Elliot Ballpark, a 1,500-seat facility, is under construction and expected to open in 2020, It will be located just off Calhoun Way, across the street from J.O. Christian Field, the Huskies' current home. The stadium will feature artificial turf, upgraded drainage, lights, a video scoreboard and suits.
Elliot, a Danbury High School graduate, played for the Huskies from 1979-82 and has stayed connected to the school and program. His son Doug also played for the Huskies from 2007-11.
"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 athletic director David Benedict said in a release. "Doug and Sheila Elliot's longtime commitment and strong support have greatly contributed to the success of our baseball program. It is fitting that future baseball Huskies will play on a field that bears his name."
Elliot, president of the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., has been a driving force behind the decades-long effort to construct a new on-campus home for the baseball Huskies. It is the latest successful product of his longtime association with his alma mater.
"It's UConn — Husky spirit gets in your fabric and never let's go," said Elliot (both he and his wife Sheila are 1982 UConn graduates. "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."
Elliot has been his tireless efforts on behalf of the baseball program, including as a founding member of the Dugout Club in 1991, a baseball support group which has grown from 19 original members to more than 500.
"What was swirling in my mind for the last few years was how to get this (new facility) over the finish line," Elliot said. "I'm not sure we realize how fortunate we are that the Husky baseball foundation Andy Baylock and his predecessors built, and that Jim Penders has now taken to the next level.
"Our players and program have earned the right to have a first-class facility. That's why, in the end Sheila and I wanted to do what we could do to change that dynamic with our lead financial gift."