Report: Former President George W. Bush to Throw out Ceremonial First Pitch at O'Brate Stadium
STILLWATER -- The festivities for the opening of Oklahoma State's O'Brate Stadium. According to a report by the Tulsa World's Bill Haisten, former president George W. Bush is set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The school had been working on landing a big-time name for the opening pitch and with Bush and Cecil O'Brate being longtime friends, it just made sense. Also, as Haisten mentioned in the opening of his article, Bush threw a perfect strike in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series in Yankee Stadium just 49 days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
"The opening of O'Brate Stadium will represent a historic day for Cowboy baseball," OSU head coach Josh Holliday said in a university release back in October. "The experience for our players, coaches and fans will be unlike any we have experienced in Stillwater. The ability to train our players and compete in a world-class facility is such a gift.
"We can't put into words our appreciation to the O'Brate family and the other generous donors for making this dream come true. Our friends, fans, opponents and baseball enthusiasts will have an amazing experience in our new home."
O'Brate Stadium, which is set to open for the start of Big 12 play on March 20 against TCU, is named after Cecil O'Brate, a former Oklahoma State student that attended from 1946-48.
The stadium had been in the works for years, but the athletic department was looking for that one big donor to put the project over the top. Enter Cecil O'Brate and his donation of $35 million.
For a little bit of background info on O'Brate, okstate.com describes him as "the owner, developer, and operator of multiple businesses and in numerous and diverse industries such as agriculture, banking, manufacturing, energy, hospitality, real estate, alternative energy, medicine, and food science."
The new home of Cowboy baseball will include approximately 3,500 permanent seats, 11 suites and 400 premium seats in dedicated club and suite areas. Seating can be expanded to 8,000 as needed.
Among the many features of the O'Brate Stadium complex are:
- A "training triangle" area comprised of an indoor facility, a pitching lab and an artificial turf infield that allows the Cowboys to practice year-round, regardless of weather conditions, without having to utilize the ballpark's main natural grass playing surface.
- A 7,400-square-foot locker room and player lounge, as well as a nutrition center and a tiered-seating classroom.
- An operations center that houses a sports medicine area, additional training space and a baseball-specific laundry center and equipment room.