Perhaps taking a cue from a terrific sports movie, Oklahoma Baptist University has added a new item to its baseball menu.

Perhaps taking a cue from a terrific sports movie, Oklahoma Baptist University has added a new item to its baseball menu.
With a “If you build it, they will come” mentality, the Bison are adding lights to their new baseball field, located north of MacArthur Street.
“We think it could help with fan support,” Bison head coach Bobby Cox said. “If you are playing at 1 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, a lot of people can’t watch you because they are at work. We’re hoping that when our students see the lights, they will gravitate toward the baseball field.
“That’s what happens with our intramural programs. We hope to see the same things with our baseball program. It gives kids something to do at night.”
OBU Sports Information Director Ray Fink said the lights were turned on Tuesday afternoon and would remain on for 72 hours to allow the system to “burn in.”
Cox, who just completed his 24th year at the Bison helm, said the school’s administration decided last fall to add the lights. “The lights have been up for about a month,” Cox said. “We thought we would have them ready for play by this last spring but it just didn’t work out. We just didn’t get them up in time.”
Just how many games will become night dates is still in limbo. Often, February and March games — even some April contests — can be downright cold and uncomfortable for spectators.
“We will obviously fight a little with the weather,” Cox said. “We could have some chilly nights but a lot of times, the wind goes down at night and the wind chill isn’t as bad.”
The park’s addition, Cox says, provides other positive factors, including loss of class time by the baseballers. Also, the lights will enable OBU to practice at night, if necessary, and the junior-varsity can slate some of its fall games under the stars.
“There are several areas where this will really help us,” Cox said.
OBU becomes the fifth Sooner Athletic Conference baseball team to add lights, joining the ranks of Oklahoma City University, Wayland Baptist, Lubbock Christian and Rogers State.
When Rogers State inaugurated its lights this past spring, OBU became its first nighttime opponent.
“I don’t know anyone else in the Sooner Athletic Conference that has definite plans to add lights,” Cox said. “I think St. Gregory’s has talked about it and Oklahoma Christian may have some plans.”
Other SAC schools that play baseball but don’t have lights are Mid-America Christian, Southern Nazarene, Northwestern Oklahoma State and USAO. John Brown is the only SAC school that doesn’t field a baseball program.
Cox said he and his players are excited about the prospects of night baseball at OBU. “I like night baseball,” he said. “I don’t know for sure how many night game we would be playing in a year. It would vary from year to year.
“I just think it will add to the program. I always felt it would be a huge prize.”