(Worcester, Mass.) -- The City of Worcester and Worcester State University will officially dedicate the Kevin D. Lyons Baseball Diamond at Rockwood Field on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., just before the Lancers are schedule to play a doubleheader against Bridgewater State University at noon.
“This is a momentous day in so many ways,” said Worcester State University President Barry M. Maloney. “Not only does it mark a long-awaited day for our university baseball players, it demonstrates that great things can happen when a great city and a great university partner on a project like this. It is especially gratifying to be honoring Kevin Lyons as part of this event, and I am deeply grateful to his family for being part of history at both WSU and the city of Worcester.”
“We are grateful to Worcester State University and the city of Worcester for honoring our Dad, Kevin Lyons,” said Sean Lyons. “The Worcester State baseball team was a tremendous part of our Dad’s educational experience. He continued his support of the program throughout his life and would be thrilled that the baseball team finally has its own home field. We wish the Worcester State baseball team the best of luck in continuing their winning tradition on their new field.”
City Manager Michael O’Brien will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for a dedication that will include remarks from Worcester State University President Barry M. Maloney, the Honorable Joseph Petty and a representative from the Lyons Family.
Others expected to be in attendance include Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, local legislators, members of the Worcester City Council, officials from of the Worcester Parks Commission, members of the Worcester State Board of Trustees, the Worcester State Athletics Hall of Fame Committee, and members of the Lyons family.
Kevin D. Lyons, a two-time graduate of Worcester State—with a bachelor’s degree in 1965 and a master’s degree in 1971, was a standout centerfielder and exceptional hitter on the 1964 and 1965 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship teams that posted a combined record of 26-1. Lyons, who was inducted in the inaugural Worcester State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986, was also an advocate for local youth and interscholastic athletic teams in the Worcester community.
Lyons was a teacher for more than 10 years for the Northborough Public Schools. He served in the Massachusetts National Guard and worked for the Atlas Distributing Company for many years. Along with his brother-in-law, he ran several food and beverage establishments, and in 1990 he became owner of The Press Box, a tavern on Lincoln Street.
Lyons was an active alumnus of the Worcester State baseball team and helped start the Lancer Golf Tournament, the alumni baseball game and the annual First-Pitch Dinner, which is held every spring before players leave for the team trip to Florida. His No. 2 jersey was retired in 1997, and he received the Hickey Award in 2002 for his dedication to WSU baseball. The City Council voted to name the baseball diamond in his honor in January 2009.
The dedication will officially conclude with a ceremonial pitch thrown by elected officials in attendance and speakers from the pitcher’s mound to the members of the Lancer baseball team, lined up at home plate.
A sign marking the walking trail around the perimeter of Rockwood Field will be unveiled prior to the baseball diamond dedication. A generous contribution by the Reliant Medical Group Foundation, formally known as Fallon Clinic Foundation, supported the creation of the walking trail.
Worcester State University and the Worcester State Foundation contributed $540,000 toward the $2.8 million, multi-year renovation project of Rockwood Field, which is city-owned property adjacent to the university’s north parking lot. The Kevin D. Lyons Baseball Diamond is one of four newly renovated ball fields at Rockwood Field. The Worcester State Softball Team uses the softball field, which is also used by the Jesse Burkett Little League team. A memorandum of understanding between Worcester State and the city ensures that Lancer and community teams will have use of the fields, as their schedules require.