By now everyone is aware of the celebrations that have been taking place to honor the National Champion baseball team. There was the rally at the Colonial Center and the ticker tape parade down Main Street. We, here at Leftoverhotdog, suggest two more ways to commemorate and honor this team: name the field for Ray and build the victory tower.
Since being built two years ago South Carolina’s stadium has gone by the somewhat generic name Carolina Stadium. The original idea was to sell the naming rights like the Colonial Center. As of yet no one has purchased them.
We think it should be named for Coach Ray Tanner. The main reason is that Coach Tanner has run a successful program that does things the right way and makes the fans and school proud. It doesn’t hurt that he just won the National Title and has been named National Coach of the Year. His teams have been successful on the field (National Title, 11 straight regional appearances, 8 of those leading to super-regionals), and he has been active off the field with his volunteer activities that usually don’t generate much press. He is the ideal of what a coach should be, and he has earned the honor of Coaching in a stadium bearing his name.
The second suggestion is to honor the team by building the victory tower. In the original plans for the baseball stadium, a tower was to be built behind the batter’s eye in centerfield. The tower would have a garnet light at the top which would be turned on after Gamecock victories. As construction progressed, the victory tower was eliminated from the stadium. To commemorate this team’s accomplishment with something permanent, the victory tower should be built and dedicated to the team. A plaque detailing their season as well as a list of players should be added. The light could be turned on for each victory and left on until the next game. It would be the signature touch to a world class park for a deserving team and a deserving Coach.