By David Yarger
On Saturday morning, elected officials, Niagara University faculty and baseball fans alike stormed to NU for the official unveiling of renovations made to John P. Bobo field.
The remodeling included a full artificial turf field, dugout renovations, a new scoreboard, bleachers, press box and bullpen and batting cage remodels.
At the pregame festivities, Thomas Burns was the master of ceremonies. Following a prayer and a blessing of the field by Niagara University President Emeritus Rev. Joseph J. Levesque, C.M. and a ribbon cutting, individuals threw out ceremonial first pitches. The group included New York state Sen. Rob Ortt; Assemblyman Angelo Morinello; Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster; Niagara University President Father James Maher; John Bobo's brother, Bill; Board of Trustee and baseball alumni John Rumschik; President of International Alumni Association an baseball alumni Frank Fiannaca; baseball alumni Ed Warnke; and Senior Vice President of Operations and Finance Mary Borgognoni.
Burns also read a letter the school had received from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Part of the letter said, "This state-of-the-art baseball field ... will provide an extraordinary new venue to showcase the talents of the Purple Eagles. With the ceremonial first pitch thrown today on this new field, we'll begin a new era in Niagara's rich baseball heritage.
"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I commend everyone affiliated with the completion of the exciting new field named for the true American hero and Medal of Honor recipient and alumni Lt. John Bobo. With warmest regards and best wishes for an enjoyable opening day and many years of success at this new baseball field. Sincerely, Andrew Cuomo."
Following the festivities, Niagara played a doubleheader versus the Iona Gaels. Students in attendance were greeted with a free hot dog and drink.
For more information on the field and the baseball team, visit www.purpleeagles.com.
Representatives throw out several ceremonial first pitches.
The new scoreboard donning the field name, as well as the United States and Canadian flags.
Niagara University President Emeritus Rev. Joseph J. Levesque, C.M. leads a prayer and blessing of the field.
Members of the John P. Bobo Marines Corp League and the Niagara University ROTC present the colors.
Thomas Burns, master of ceremonies, speaks during opening festivities.