As we continue our discussion about the future of Syracuse athletics, we now take a look at a sport that many Syracuse Orange fan's are yearning to have back: Baseball.
Syracuse fielded it's first varsity baseball squad back in 1870 until 1921, when after one year they resumed fielding a team until the sport was discontinued in 1972. In that time span, Syracuse only made one College World Series appearance where they lost to eventual tournament runner-up Oklahoma State twice (It's a double elimination tournament). Syracuse produced many Major Leaguers such as Dave Giusti and Billy Connors and produced 18 draft picks during the 8 years that the program ran concurrent with the MLB Draft (the draft was established in 1965).
The question then comes, why field a baseball team now? The easy answer is that Syracuse is the ONLY school in the highly-competitive ACC that doesn't field a team and they are undoubtedly under some pressure to keep up, not to mention the large public backing to bring the sport back to campus.
Looking at the financial side of things, teams in the ACC usually run for around 400k with an additional 250k for coaching and support staff. In terms of scholarships, a Division I baseball program can give out as many as 11 scholarships to split amongst 27 players. While Syracuse could use less than that, it would be tough to maintain an edge with recruiting in that situation.
The facilities would be the biggest issue with baseball. They could probably use the new indoor facility or Manley for offseason practices but there is still no baseball field to play on as their home field from the original team, Lew Carr field, is now a lacrosse practice field. This could pose a serious problem that the athletic department would have to address accordingly.
What do you think? Is it worth it for SU to field a baseball squad or should we just stick to lacrosse?
See our previous discussion about wrestling here.