Joe Becker Stadium is getting a new look.
Crews from the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department have removed the press box and are remodeling the concession stand in an effort to update the facility, said Chris Cotton, parks and recreation director.
“The concession stand will pretty much go back the way it was,” Cotton said. “We’re just seeing what had to be replaced.”
The new press box will include a dressing room for umpires, who previously changed clothes in a city-owned house across the street from the stadium, Cotton said. Volunteers from Americorps have occupied the house on High Street during their efforts to help the city recover from a tornado that struck on May 22, 2011.
“It will be a little bigger,” Cotton said of the structure that will be on top of the concession stand. “We will be adding central air and heat.” The chain-link fence behind home plate also is being replaced, he said.
Craig Hull, director of the Joplin Sports Authority, welcomed the remodeling.
“It’s a nice, small renovation project going into the 100th year of such a fine facility,” Hull said. “There’s so much that can be said about that facility. We’re blessed to have it.”
Joe Becker Stadium was the home of the Joplin Miners minor-league baseball teams in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. Among the all-time greats who played there were Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Joe Garagiola and Ken Boyer.
The stadium in recent years has served area college, high school, American Legion and other youth teams along with regional and national tournaments, such as the Premier Baseball Junior Championship, which Hull said will return to Joplin next summer.
The stadium is the home of the Missouri Southern Lions, who are scheduled to play Nebraska-Kearney in a three-game series on Feb. 23-24 at the stadium.
“I’m for improving baseball facilities, so I think it’s great,” said Missouri Southern head coach Bryce Darnell. “It will be more convenient for people and more comfortable, so it’s a good thing.”
Joe Becker was a professional umpire and scout who was business manager of the Joplin Miners from 1936-42, according to the Lions’ media guide.
Joe Becker Stadium is getting a new look.
- Missouri Southern Sports
Missouri Southern basketball teams set schedules
The Missouri Southern men’s and women’s basketball teams released their respective 2014-15 schedules on Thursday.
Missouri Southern's Phillips nominated for Good Works team
Missouri Southern senior defensive end Ryon Phillips is one of 182 nominees for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, the coaches association announced Tuesday.
Former MSSU runner qualifies for marathon trials
Former Missouri Southern cross country and track and field standout Kimi Reed (formerly Shank) has qualified for the USA Marathon Trials after running a qualifying time at the 2014 Grandma’s Marathon.
Moon hits his first two professional homers in win
Logan Moon, an outfielder with the Kansas City Royals’ rookie affiliate Burlington Royals and former Missouri Southern batting leader, hit his first two professional home runs on Sunday, leading Burlington to a 10-1 win over the Johnson City Cardinals.
BLOG: Missouri Southern's Logan Moon on hit streak
Logan Moon, an outfielder in the Kansas City Royals organization, entered Saturday on a seven-game hitting streak.
BLOG: Moon competes in first regular season pro game for Burlington
Missouri Southern product Logan Moon competed in his first regular season professional baseball game for the rookie league Burlington Royals on Thursday night.
BLOG: Moon set to play first pro game for Royals organization
Missouri Southern product Logan Moon is expected to play his first professional baseball game for the Burlington Royals at 7 p.m. today at Burlington Athletic Stadium in North Carolina.
Former MSSU star Barbre signs three-year extension with Eagles
Allen Barbre, a former Missouri Southern All-American offensive lineman, recently agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Missouri Southern, Pittsburg State to be featured on MIAA TV
Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State will each be featured twice as the MIAA TV Game of the Week this upcoming football season.
Moon begins pro career with Royals
Logan Moon’s professional baseball career began this week when he signed with the Kansas City Royals and reported to their spring training complex in Surprise, Arizona.
- More Missouri Southern Sports Headlines
- Missouri Southern basketball teams set schedules