History of Eck Stadium, home of Tyler Field

Eck Stadium, home of Tyler Field, officially opened in 1985.

Seven years prior, Shocker Field consisted of a dirt field, asphalt, AstroTurf and a chain-link fence. In 1981, a 322-seat bleacher unit was installed. Concrete dugouts were added at about the same time.

The Shockers advanced to the national championship game in 1982, which warranted the construction of Eck Stadium three years later. Eck was originally built with 3,044 seats, at a cost of $700,000.  The stadium was named after Wichita car dealer, Rusty Eck, because he had supported the Wichita State baseball program.

Since the initial construction of the stadium, many renovations have been made. The first large renovation came in 1988 and led to the name of Tyler Field. Ron and Linda Tyler contributed most of the $425,000 needed for the renovation, and the new field was named after them. The renovation added 292 box seats, new AstroTurf and a rubberized warning track.

Numerous other renovations include Coleman Hill, Bledsoe Plaza and the Virginia H. Farah All-American Club.

Coleman Hill was added in 2000 and allowed for the addition of two pavilions and terraces. The outfield hill is a popular area for WSU students and general admission seating.

The Virginia H. Farah All-American Club is another seating area that is fairly new. The club serves about 200 people and membership includes complimentary food and beverages, priority parking and club admission to a climate-controlled facility with a great view.

Bledsoe Plaza is part art exhibition and part walk-through hall of fame for past Shocker athletes and boosters who contributed to WSU baseball history.

A 1999 $7.8 million renovation project at Eck Stadium probably would not have been possible without former WSU baseball coach Gene Stephenson, the winningest coach in college baseball since 1978.

In 2003, Eck Stadium ranked sixth in a “Baseball America” poll for ballparks that made the largest impressions.