FACILITIES & DIRECTIONS
J.T. HAYWOOD FIELD HOUSE
The J.T. Haywood Field House opened in the summer of 2013. The facility houses locker rooms, teams rooms and indoor hitting facilities for both baseball and softball. The softball coaches' offices are also housed in the facility.
The facility was named for long-time Samford University faculty member and former coach John T. Haywood Jr. Haywood is a 1961 Samford graduate and taught on the faculty from 1962 until his retirement in 1995. He revived Samford’s baseball program in the 1980s and served as head coach for five years. He also developed an extensive intramurals program for the university. He was inducted into Samford’s baseball hall of fame in 2007.
“We are excited to announce the building of our new indoor hitting and locker room facility for our baseball and softball programs as well as our new softball stadium,” Samford director of athletics Martin Newton said. “These state-of-the-art facilities have been a work in progress, and I’d like to thank all of those who have spent tireless hours and provided funds to make this project happen.”
The Haywood facility was part of a larger project that included a 200-seat softball stadium, re-orientation of the current softball field and a new press tower with concessions and restrooms. Bradford Building Co. of Birmingham was the general contractor for the project.
JOE LEE GRIFFIN FIELD
Before the 2008 season, an enclosed press box was added to Joe Lee Griffin Field. The Carl E. Miller, Jr. Press Box consists of a working press/ game operations area, along with radio booths on each side.
Miller, a local businessman, bought Bodine, Bryson & Rohling, Inc. (now Bodine, Inc.) in 1972 and ran the office furniture company until his retirement in 1990. He is a 1950 graduate of Samford. He, along with his son, Carl E. Miller III, were named Samford's Alumnus of the Year in 1999.
In the winter of 2005-06, the facility received a major overhaul. The field was given a new prescription turf, along with a new irrigation system and an underground drainage system. In addition to field improvements, a brick wall was added down the first and third base lines to continue the brick theme of the stadium. The continued support of the Joe Lee Griffin Foundation and other Samford supporters made these improvements possible.
Before the 2005 season, a state-ofthe-art scoreboard was installed in right field. The facility was upgraded with the addition of lights, a press area, landscaping and a new entranceway in 2000. Along with the improvements, the facility was named Joe Lee Griffin Field in memory of the late Birmingham business leader and builder of Eagle Point Golf Course.
Friends of Griffin, led by Miller, raised more than $900,000 to perpetuate the memory of Griffin, who died in 1998. Griffin and Miller both graduated from Samford. Miller and his son began the effort to honor Griffin's memory in the fall of 1999. The response was "extremely gratifying," said Carl, Jr., Griffin's longtime friend.
"People want to be a part of remembering Joe Lee. They remember him as a man who spoke from the heart, a true Golden Rule fellow. I have heard many people over the years describe him as `one of the nicest guys I've ever met.'"
Griffin was a 1957 Samford graduate and the number one player on the school's fi rst intercollegiate golf team. He contributed to various programs at the university over the years, and was honored in 1984 as the Samford School of Business Alumnus of the Year.
A Tarrant native, Griffin developed a highly successful welding supply and safety business, NASCO. During the early 1990's, he built Eagle Point Golf Course, which now is one of Birmingham's finest golf courses. Griffin "loved athletics, and loved attending athletic events at Samford," said his daughter, Ginger Burkett. "He was proud to be a graduate of Samford."
The first game on the original field was played on April 14, 1958.