Nov. 3, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State baseball program honored Nick Swisher with a field dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon at the newly-renovated Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium. The current Buckeyes, fans and media were on hand to recognize Swisher for his generosity in giving the program $500,000 to help install a new turf field.
After a few words from head coach Greg Beals, associate vice president and director of athletics Gene Smith, chairman of the Davis Foundation and avid Buckeye supporter Bill Wells and current Ohio State co-captain David Fathalikhani, Swisher spoke to the crowd about what Ohio State means to him.
"The word honor comes to mind," Swisher said. "I never would have thought I would have been at Ohio State. When I came here, I experienced that passion, pride and tradition that Ohio State has. I think everyone on the team experiences that every single day. It's been an amazing thing."
Swisher talked about what it means to be a Buckeye and where he feels the program can head with the addition of the new surface.
"I think the field is going to be great for this program. To be able to come here and help out and pay forward with this field - I couldn't be more excited," Swisher added. "But I think more than anything, when I come back to this university it brings back memories of the good times that I experienced every day. And to say that I'm a Buckeye, I couldn't be more proud. I love this university and I love the game of baseball and there's nothing in the world I'd rather be doing. It's been such an honor for me. We've been Omaha-bound for quite some time now and I think it's time we break through and get there. I hope this field helps us get to that point."
As an outfielder/first baseman for the Scarlet and Gray (2000-02), Swisher was named 2000 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and twice received first team All-Big Ten accolades in his career.
Selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 16th overall pick of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft, Swisher would also spend time with the White Sox before heading to his current home with the New York Yankees where he was a part of the 2009 World Champion team and named an American League All-Star the following season. In his professional career, the Columbus native has seen action in 1,061 games and has amassed 185 home runs.
The current Buckeyes will open the 2012 home campaign March 16 against Austin Peay in the first game at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium.