On a clear, chilly night in November, 40 former UMobile baseball players returned to the university to be among the first to play under the new lights at Jacobs field. The evening began with a cookout for the players, their families and friends of the university. A tour of the facilities followed which included the new batting cage and locker rooms.
The concession stand was open and, according to Allison Nelson ’04 ’06, director of alumni relations, the families and friends enjoyed lots of hot chocolate on such a cold night.
Coach Mike Jacobs spoke to the crowd before the game, saying how humbled he was that the university could have invested in many other campus projects, but chose to invest in the baseball program. He encouraged the players who had been touched by the program to continue their support. Donations made that evening will be used for equipment, field preparation and a batting software program. Jacobs helped begin UMobile’s baseball team in 1990, having previously coached at UMS-Wright Preparatory School. Under his leadership, the Rams have compiled a 776-497-2 record and 30 Rams have signed Major League contracts.
“To see how many players came back to support Coach Jacobs was very touching,” said Nelson.
Jacobs said it was particularly moving to see former players and catch up with their lives.
“Baseball is about so much more than batting averages and home runs. Seeing young men grow in faith and build strong families and careers makes the hard work worthwhile,” Jacobs said.