The 1981 season signaled the start of a new chapter in Oklahoma State baseball history. The Cowboys began play in one of the nation's finest facilities and with it came the program's return to national prominence.
With the start of the 2010 season, Allie P. Reynolds Stadium begins its 30th year as home to Oklahoma State baseball. Located on the northeast side of the OSU campus, Reynolds Stadium is located on the same site as the old baseball facility, University Park, and is named in honor of former OSU and major league pitching great Allie P. Reynolds.
The $2.2 million structure was officially dedicated on April 24, 1982, in a ceremony attended by Reynolds and New York Yankee legends Mickey Mantle, Bill Dickey and Warren Spahn. The Cowboys, however, had begun playing in the new park on April 4, 1981, and recorded their first victory on April 5, 1981 against conference foe Missouri.
The Cowboys have added 693 games in the win column against only 144 losses for an impressive winning percentage of .828 in their home stadium. During the 1986 and '87 seasons, the Cowboys amassed a 54-game winning streak at home.
In addition to nine NCAA Regionals, Reynolds Stadium has played host to several of the nation's elite teams including: Arizona, Auburn, Cal State-Fullerton, Stanford, Texas, UCLA and Wichita State.
With approximately 1,000 chairback seats, 2,000 bleacher seats in the main grandstand and 1,000 bleacher seats down the left-field foul line, Reynolds Stadium has a capacity of 4,000. The Allie P. Reynolds Stadium press box features three radio booths and seating for 25 members of the media. The stadium also houses coaches' offices, locker rooms, a concession stand and a ticket booth.
A $200,000 major league-quality lighting system was installed in 1981, which has been invaluable in helping Oklahoma State host numerous local, regional and national television appearances.
The playing surface was re-landscaped in the fall of 1992 with new sod covering the infield grass areas. The stadium received more than $400,000 in renovations during 1993-94, including the addition of 1,000 bleacher seats down the left-field foul line during the 1993 season. The construction also moved the perimeter fences in towards the foul lines, which allowed space for the new bleachers and moved the visiting teams' bullpen off the playing field. The old visiting team and umpire dressing rooms underneath the left-field stands were also completed in the construction, which was funded entirely by private contributions to the Reynolds Stadium Development Fund. In 1994, a new outfield fence increased the dimensions of the stadium, and outfield fence sign advertisements have raised over $1 million for the baseball program since 1982.
The stadium renovations were instrumental in helping Oklahoma State host the 1993 Midwest Regional, the 1994 Midwest I Regional and the 1997 Mideast Regional.
At the end of the 1995 season, a new scoreboard was installed at the stadium.
At the end of the 1997 season, there were again renovations at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. Those began by tearing down the old orange fence and replacing it with an eight-foot, green-padded fence. Both dugouts were extended, and the Cowboys' bullpen was moved from right-field to right-center.
In the fall of 2001, a state-of-the-art indoor hitting facility was built behind the left field stands for both the baseball and softball teams. A new speaker system was installed in the spring of 2002, giving the Cowboys one of the best sound systems around.
A new, state-of-the-art scoreboard was installed during the 2004 season.
Over the last few years, OSU has continued improvements at Reynolds Stadium, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into helping the home of Cowboy baseball regain its status as one of the best in college baseball.
In June 2005, the Cowboys moved into a new clubhouse along the third base dugout. The 6,200-square foot facility was built at an approximate cost of $700,000 and includes spacious wooden lockers for each player and a lounge area with leather couches, a big screen television and top of the line audio equipment. There is also a new locker room for the OSU coaches, a locker room for umpires, showers, an equipment room, a training room and a kitchen area for pre-game meals.
In the fall of 2005, major improvements were also made to the bullpen areas, warning tracks and playing surfaces to give Reynolds Stadium a new look for the 2006 season.
The man who helped spearhead the drive to make the dream of OSU's stadium become reality, Allie P. Reynolds, began his brilliant baseball career on the campus of the school formerly known as Oklahoma A&M.
Reynolds, who was attending A&M on a track scholarship, was watching baseball practice one afternoon when he was asked by baseball coach Henry P. Iba if he could help out by throwing batting practice. Without the benefit of a single warm-up pitch, Reynolds struck out the only four batters he faced without allowing so much as a foul ball. Thus began the legend of Allie P. Reynolds.
Reynolds began his professional career with the Cleveland Indians where he notched 51 wins in five seasons. He then went on to star for the New York Yankees from 1947 to 1954 before his career was cut short by a freak accident.
The six-time All-Star appeared in 15 World Series games, winning seven of his nine starts and picking up four saves in six relief appearances. Reynolds was an integral part of six world championship teams while in New York.
His most memorable season came in 1951 when, in spite of fighting bone chips, he became only the third player in major-league history to hurl two no-hit games in a single season. All told, Reynolds compiled a 182-107 record with 49 saves and 1,423 strikeouts during his 12-year career.
On August 26, 1989, Reynolds was bestowed the highest honor of any New York Yankee when he received a plaque in Monument Park beyond the centerfield fence at Yankee Stadium.
An article published in a Yankee magazine prior to the unveiling of Reynolds' monument said, "The plaque assures that the Superchief will always be included when stories of Yankee greats are told. Allie belongs as a Yankee legend, both as a player and as a man."
The same holds true for Oklahoma State University where Allie P. Reynolds has always been a friend and will forever be a part of the Cowboy Baseball family.