Dick Howser Stadium
Dick Howser Stadium will take its place as one of the top collegiate baseball facilities in the country after a two-year, $12 million dollar project is completed prior to the 2004 season. Located on the campus of Florida State University, the stadium has provided almost two million fans with the feeling of having "the best seat in the house" to watch the finest in college baseball action.
Dick Howser Stadium has taken its place as one of the top collegiate baseball facilities in the country after a two-year, $12 million dollar project was completed in 2004. Located on the campus of Florida State University, the stadium has provided over two million fans with the feeling of having "the best seat in the house" to watch the finest in college baseball action. On April 2, 2005 Florida State University dedicated the field at Dick Howser to current head coach Mike Martin. Florida State's skipper for the last 30 years now coaches on the diamond bearing his name, Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium.
Florida State's players and coaches enjoy the convenience and luxury of a clubhouse and locker room currently located behind the Seminole dugout. The Griffin Family Clubhouse was moved to the first base side for the 2004 season as the construction process was completed. The main locker room was described by former Seminole and 2004 World Series Champion Doug Mientkiewicz as being `better than 95% of the big league clubhouses' he has seen. The locker room contains a personalized wooden locker for each player, a separate locker room for the Seminole coaches and trainers, and a video area where FSU players and coaches can watch film.
The stadium also houses all of the baseball offices. The coaches' offices look over the stadium behind home plate. There is also a weight room and training area adjacent to the clubhouse. Each of the areas were expanded and improved during the renovation process.
There are on-going efforts to keep Dick Howser Stadium one of the top facilities in college baseball. Truly a "player's ballpark," the stadium has had many upgrades even since the $12 million renovation completed less than five years ago. In 2005 an upgraded $50,000 sound system was installed and an enhanced exterior brick façade as the outfield walls now match the exterior grandstand of the stadium.
Dick Howser Stadium, named after the late Kansas City Royals and Florida State manager who was also Florida State's first-ever baseball All-American, is a showcase befitting one of the top collegiate teams in the nation. From the beautifully manicured playing surface to the chair back seats, Howser Stadium is one of the best places in the country to watch a game.
Stadium capacity increased to 6,700 as additional seats were added during the two-year construction process. Florida State annually ranks in the top 15 nationally in attendance. In 2008, Florida State set single-season records for both total home attendance and average home attendance surpassing 200,000 fans for the first time in school history. Last year, the Seminoles drew 202,132 fans in 41 games, good for an average record of 4,930 fans per game. The total attendance mark surpassed the previous record of 183,534 set in 41 games in 2007. The 2005 season held the previous record for the highest average home attendance at 4,516 before the mark was shattered following the Seminoles' run to the College World Series in 2008. Five of the top 20 all-time largest crowds to witness a game at Dick Howser Stadium were set in 2008 including the top three most attended games in school history. In 1994, the one-millionth fan walked through the gates of Howser Stadium in only its 12th season of operation and in 2005 total attendance reached more than two million. Since the 1983 opening, FSU has averaged over 2,600 fans per game.
The Seminole faithful set the standard for all others in the ACC as more than 100,000 FSU fans have attended games at Dick Howser Stadium nine times in the last 10 years and no ACC school has drawn more fans this decade than Florida State.
Seminole fans are simply the best and most knowledgeable in college baseball. Although they live and die with `their' Seminoles, the FSU faithful are known nationwide for their sportsmanship and appreciation of good baseball -- by both teams. Fans, along with the stadium and a professional game operation, are a large reason that Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium has been chosen as an NCAA Regional Tournament site 23 times in 27 years since its opening in 1983. Dick Howser Stadium has also been host to five Super Regionals in the 10 years since the new postseason format was adopted.
The stadium was dedicated in honor of Dick Howser in March of 1988 prior to an exhibition game between Florida State and the Kansas City Royals, two of Howser's former teams. As part of the stadium dedication, Kansas City all-stars George Brett and Bo Jackson helped unveil a new $150,000 matrix scoreboard and a bronze bust of Howser. While the bust of Howser still stands in Haggard Baseball Plaza, the matrix scoreboard was replaced in January 2004 with a new $800,000 video board. The state-of-the-art scoreboard provides lineups, statistics and replays throughout the game and stands 40 feet high and 70 feet wide.
Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium has come a long way in the last two decades. Old Seminole Field was christened Seminole Stadium March 28, 1983, after a one million dollar renovation was completed on the park. Wooden bleachers were replaced with a two-tier concrete grandstand seating 2,500. Modern concession areas, restrooms and a press box complete with separate booths for radio and television broadcasts were also added.
The playing surface dimensions measure 320 feet to right field, 400 feet to center and 340 feet to left. Prior to the 1986 season, a screen was added to the top of the right field wall, increasing in five-foot increments from 20 feet in the power alley to 30 feet in right field -- giving a unique effect.
The playing field itself is also often compared to that of a major league park. FSU grounds chief Brian Donaway and his crew oversees the everyday upkeep of the playing surface and surroundings, spending hours on the field year-round. The dedication and hard work of Justin Wilmot (field supervisor) were rewarded in the fall of 2001, when Dick Howser Stadium was named the best collegiate baseball field in the country. Often taken for granted, the grounds crew gives Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium a playing field unsurpassed by any collegiate team in the nation.
The beautiful home of Florida State's baseball Seminoles, from the Mike Loynd Tradition Room, the Griffin Family Clubhouse to the top-notch playing field and overall family atmosphere, is indeed a fitting tribute to one of FSU's greatest alumni, Dick Howser.
Mike Loynd Tradition Room
The Mike Loynd "Tradition Room", underneath the first base stands, holds an attractive showcase which tells the story of the great players, award-winners and tremendous FSU teams of the past. Trophies and plaques depicting Florida State's baseball success through the years adorn the walls. It also provides a comfortable lounge area adjacent to the FSU clubhouse.
Separate wall displays, attractively back-lit, are devoted to Florida State All-Americans, former Seminoles in the pros, and FSU's 19 College World Series teams and 16 conference championships. Another wall is lined with FSU's most recent tournament and conference championship trophies, as well as replicas of the Golden Spikes Awards of Mike Loynd, Mike Fuentes, J.D. Drew and Buster Posey.
The Mike Loynd Tradition Room, built thanks to the generous donation of former Florida State All-American Mike Loynd, serves as a showcase for the great tradition which is Florida State baseball.
The Griffin Family Clubhouse
Former Seminole first team All-American John-Ford Griffin grew up in a Garnet & Gold home. Both his father Bill and mother Carla attended FSU as well as his two sisters. So it seems appropriate one of the greatest Seminole baseball players, along with his entire family, have their names adorning the Seminole Clubhouse. Out of appreciation to the family for a generous gift when the school was renovating Dick Howser Stadium, FSU named one of the nation's top locker rooms in honor of the family as Seminole players now prepare for games and practices in the Griffin Family Clubhouse.
The clubhouse is one of the most impressive in the nation with personalized wooden lockers, a big screen television, a state-of-the-art sound system and every comfort current and future Seminoles could ever ask for.
"Phenomenal," was the first word that came to mind when former Seminole Doug Mientkiewicz first toured the Griffin Family Clubhouse. "I walked into the clubhouse for the first time and I said, `this is better than 95% of the big league clubhouses.' The clubhouse at Fenway, when we won the World Championship in 2004, was about the size of this room. If it's not the best, I'd like to see the best in college baseball. To me this is the best place to be and this is the best place to play."
Dane Smith enters his fifth season as the equipment and clubhouse manager for Florida State Baseball in 2009. Smith's reign with Seminole Baseball began in the fall of 2001 as a student manager before taking over the position of equipment and clubhouse manager in July of 2004. A graduate of Florida State University, Smith earned his bachelor's degree in August of 2004 in finance with a minor in economics.
Smith's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, ordering and maintaining all equipment for the team. He coordinates the transfer of luggage and equipment for the squad when traveling and maintains the clubhouse and locker room at Dick Howser Stadium.
Stadium Quick Facts
|Dimensions:||320' right - 400' center - 340' left|
|Height of Wall:||10'|
|Height of Right Field Screen:||30'|
|Playing Surface:||Natural Grass (Bermuda)|
|Opening Day:||March 29, 1983|
|First Game Result:||FSU 5, LSU 15|
|First FSU Win:||FSU 10, LSU 5 (3/30/83)|
|First Day Crowd:||1,305|
|First Run:||Tommy Zoeller (FSU)|
|First Hit:||Zoeller, single to left|
|First RBI:||Danny Dowell (FSU), single to score Zoeller|
|First Batter:||John Morse (LSU)|
|First Putout:||Rick Figueredo (FSU), 5-3 putout on Morse|
|First Assist:||Mark Barineau (FSU) on Morse grounder|
|First Double:||Ronnie Corbett (LSU), sixth inning|
|First Triple:||Ronnie Corbett (LSU), eighth inning|
|First Home Run:||Rick Figueredo (FSU), fifth inning|
|FSU in Dick Howser Stadium:||822-162-1 (.835)|
Season Home Attendance Totals
(Since opening of stadium in 1983)