From Harding University
The city of Enid, Oklahoma and the Great American Conference have partnered to bring the league's baseball championship tournament to David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
David Allen Memorial Ballpark has served as the host for several amateur baseball championships including the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series as well as multiple national, regional and state tournaments for American Legion Baseball. The facility features a capacity of 3,000, including 300 chair-back seats that were madeavailable by the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball franchise. The seats were used in Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.
The ballpark also features a large patio area on the second level of the stadium that stretches down each baseline. Also on the second level is the stadium's press box, which includes a booth frequented by the national TV sports network, ESPN.
"David Allen Ballpark and the people of Enid have proven to be great hosts for high-profile baseball tournaments," said GAC Commissioner Will Prewitt. "Our coaches, players, administrators and fans will be presented with a first-class tournament in a first-class facility."
In addition to the chair-back seating on the main level of the stadium, there are several air-conditioned luxury boxes, concession stands and a grass berm area. Locker rooms and other facilities necessary for participants are located inside the indoor practice facility and field house located just beyond theright-field line of the playing field. In addition, the Bill Humphrey Baseball Museum is located near the main entrance of the stadium, dedicated to Enid's minor league baseball history.
Opened in 1999, the ballpark was named in honor of David Allen, who was critically injured in a car accident in 1978, spent three weeks in a coma and died in 1995 after never re-gaining full body functions. Before the accident, Allen had accepted an offer to play baseball at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Allen's parents, Paul and Joan Allen, dedicated the stadium to youth and amateur baseball players.
The city of Enid, which has a population of nearly 50,000, will provide host families for each qualifying team, as well as provide community engagement activities for the teams to benefit the local youth organizations.
"This tournament brings another level of baseball to our community with NCAA four-year school affiliation," said David Allen Memorial Ballpark Manager Bill Mayberry. "We look forward to the opportunity to show the David Allen Memorial Ballpark and the community of Enid to a new population base. The Great American Conference is on the cusp of establishing a standard for NCAA Division II conference affiliation admired nationwide."
The 2012 GAC baseball championship is scheduled for Friday-Monday, May 4-7. The double-elimination tournament will feature the league's top six teams based on conference win-loss percentage from the regular season.