NEWARK, N.J. - Seton Hall Athletics and Essex County teamed up to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of newly renovated Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field and four tennis courts in Ivy Hill Park. In attendance were members of the Pirates softball and tennis teams, head coaches Paige Smith and Greg Wyzykowski, legendary Pirates baseball head coach Mike Sheppard, Sr., Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and other county officials.
Renovations took place from July to November, when Seton Hall initially unveiled the completed project.
Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field has been the home for Pirates softball since 2005. The field is named for the legendary Pirates baseball head coach who led Seton Hall to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and back-to-back College World Series berths in 1974-75. Improvements made to the facility include: brand new synthetic turf both on the infield and the outfield; raised bleachers that have increased the capacity to 700 and will provide better viewing angles; a press box that will accommodate game operations as well as television and radio productions; batting cages within the bullpens for both home and away teams; bench seating and cubbies within each dugout.
The four tennis courts were completely rebuilt with a new playing surface, surface coating, fencing, nets and trash receptacles. The courts also include new lights.