Feb. 6, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- A baseball field is the cornerstone and foundation on which a program is developed, maintained and where tradition starts.
Arizona State University's first varsity head baseball coach Bobby Winkles (1959-1971) founded and helped build the tradition and legacy that ASU plays under today. To honor Winkles storied career and his exhaustive effort to put Arizona State baseball on the map, Packard Stadium's baseball field will be renamed Bobby Winkles Field at a March 3 ceremony when the current Sun Devils take on defending National Champion LSU. A ceremony honoring Winkles will be held prior to the 1 p.m. game and will feature several of his former players, coaches and friends. Winkles will join the likes of former coaches Ned Wulk (basketball) and Frank Kush (football) who both had the venues on which they coached named after them.
"This is a great honor for both me and my family and it is going to be just a wonderful and memorable weekend," said Winkles from his home in La Quinta, Calif. "I really have to share this will all of my former players though, because they were the ones that made this honor possible. They did a lot of running and really played hard for me everyday. To see those players again on this special weekend will be one of he best things that ever happened to me and it truly will be memorable. I also have to give thanks to the head coaches who followed me, Jim Brock and Pat Murphy, for carrying on that tradition at ASU and keeping me part of the program."
Winkles was ASU's first varsity baseball coach and maintained an impressive 524-173 record during his 13 years of coaching for the Sun Devils. A three-time NCAA Coach of the Year, Winkles took the ASU program from scratch and built it into one of the premier powerhouses in all of college baseball. Only six years into the program's history, Winkles led his 1964 Sun Devil squad into Omaha and ended up placing sixth. Only one year later the Sun Devils reached the pinnacle of college baseball, finishing with a 41-11 record and the school's first National Championship. Winkles led ASU back to the College World Series and reigned as NCAA Champions in 1967 and 1969. In all Winkles won three national championships over the span of five years.
"This is a wonderful event that I am proud that I can be apart of and to see such a great man get honored is outstanding," said Guthrie Packard, whose father William Packard is the namesake of ASU's baseball Stadium. "The criteria for the naming of fields and stadiums at ASU such as Ned Wulk Court and Frank Kush Field is a direct relation to those great men building the foundation of their respective programs. Bobby Winkles poured the foundation and built the tradition that Arizona State baseball plays on today."
Producing such top talents as Rick Monday, Sal Bando, Sterling Slaughter, Reggie Jackson, Larry Gura and Gary Gentry during his coaching career, the ceremony to honor Winkles and his legacy at Arizona State is sure to be a special occasion.
"Our baseball field at Packard Stadium is the foundation of our program and on it carries the lasting legacy of great teams, great player and great coaches," said current ASU head baseball coach Pat Murphy. "Bobby Winkles built the foundation of this Sun Devil baseball program and started the great tradition that we play under ever day. It is an honor and a very deserving award for us to name the field after the father of ASU baseball. Bobby Winkles is a great man, a great supporter of our current team and a great friend."
Exact details on the event will be released in the coming weeks and for more information, please call the Sun Angel Foundation at (480) 727-7700. For those media members requesting to talk to Coach Winkles, please contact Jeff Evans in the ASU Media Relations department at (480) 965-6592.