Salve Regina University sits in one of the most picturesque and historic cities in the entire USA – Newport, RI. With the backdrop of Bellevue Ave, the mansions of the rich and famous, the ocean, and stone walls galore Salve Regina boasts one of the most unique campus locations and an absolute joy to visit. Just off Bellevue Ave sits the Salve Regina University Baseball Field named Reynolds Field. The field is named for Brother Michael Reynolds.
I visited the field on Wednesday, March 11 and as I arrived to the field, there were students preparing to broadcast an afternoon game vs New England College. I walked the field, leaving the students to their prep work of cables and computers and microphones. I took in the field with the dorms and campus buildings set off in the distance. I strolled past the third base dugout and read a plaque “In Memory of Brendan T. Tarpley ’11” on the wooden dugout walls. His number 20 was also on the plaque.
It was a beautiful, sunny day on Wednesday. I casually walked the perimeter of Reynolds Field, passed the batting cage area, into centerfield and around the back of the outfield fence area. The Reynolds Field sign sits just outside the left field area. Located in center field was a camera box for videoing the game like you would see on TV. Everything adored with the Salve Regina logo or SRU Baseball emblem. The field was in fantastic shape and I walked slowly to really take it all in.
Game time on Wednesday was 3pm vs New England College. As I exited Reynolds Field, I stopped to chat with a few of the students getting ready for the game. Seemed like a normal day in the baseball world. Shortly after I got into my car and headed to work, I learned that the decision had been made to cancel the remainder of the baseball season on several levels. From the professional ranks in Spring Training to the college athletes who were just starting their collegiate sports careers, the decision had been made to postpone, suspend, and even cancel their upcoming games – home and away – due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A sad day for baseball but the right move in terms of public safety and controlling this dangerous virus.
I was so happy to visit Reynolds Field and I am equally as happy that I did it prior to the season being cancelled. My hope is that some part of the season will still be possible. At this point in the baseball season, we can only hope and pray that the virus does not spread to family and friends. Baseball will be played on Reynolds Field and others across RI and the USA at some point in the future, just not right this very moment in time.