Baseball Dedicates New Facility
Oct. 3, 2014 Cody Jones saw the promotional posters and architectural drawings of the G. Malcolm Louden Player Development Center for Baseball, but when the facility was finally completed, it was even better than he could have imagined.
"We saw what it was supposed to look like, but now that it's actually up, it's insane," he said. "People don't have this. I feel so lucky that I can have this and say it is mine to use whenever I want. It's awesome."
The TCU baseball program hosted the dedication ceremony Friday afternoon for the new facility.
"We are so incredibly thankful to the Louden Family for their support and generosity," said TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle. "Our new player development center is the premier facility of its kind in all of college baseball. The opportunities it creates for our players and the versatility of instruction it allows for our coaches is endless."
"(Mr. Louden) has helped fund and support so many things, " TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said. "It's fitting that this facility will bear his name."
The 8,772 square-foot structure will provide both an indoor and outdoor practice facility for the baseball program that previously didn't exist.
"It's something that we have been trying to do for a long, long time. I definitely had an idea of what I wanted and what we wanted for the program and it couldn't have turned out any better," Schlossnagle said. "If you look at the top 10 or 15 baseball programs in the country they have something similar. I feel this one is as good as any and better than most."
The interior of the building contains Field Turf and four hitting lanes for simultaneous use. While the players are developing and working on their swings inside, coaches can also be working on field drills just outside the four roll-up doors on outside field turf.
"This is the best facility project I have ever been involved in," Schlossnagle said. "It's amazing and it's going to help us in recruiting, but it's primarily for development. We want to keep developing players so we can keep moving guys on to professional baseball."
For senior shortstop Keaton Jones, the facility is an indication of where the Horned Frogs have been and where they want to go.
"It represents and shows that we've had success in the past and that our community and the program and the team are committed to continuing that success," he said. "It not only helps us as a team but as individuals. We can hit whenever we want and do whatever we want."
In addition to the new hitting area, the building, situated where the home bullpen used to reside in left field, also features indoor pitching mounds, a tee and toss area and the latest in video-analysis software. The cage system will allow the coaching staff to maneuver the nets to allow for as many as eight players to hit at once or to set the facility up as one large cage for pitcher vs. hitter simulated games.
"Malcolm Louden has been an unbelievable friend and supporter of our athletics program," said TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte. "We truly appreciate his generosity in making our new Player Development Center for Baseball a reality. Malcolm has always had a special place in his heart for our baseball program.
"This new facility, combined with our Big 12 championship and second College World Series appearance in the last five seasons, will continue our momentum under head coach Jim Schlossnagle. We are truly grateful to Malcolm for his passion for TCU and enhancing the student-athlete experience in our baseball program," he said.
Along with the hitting facility, a new Field Turf practice area has been installed down the left-field line. This area will be used primarily for individual defensive improvement for all players as well as practice in the areas of base running, sliding and bunting.
"TCU has been the love of my life," Louden sad. "I have been blessed and a lot of it is because of the people at TCU."
The Frogs will open their fall practice session Tuesday, Oct. 7.
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