Don Sanders Baseball Stadium, Sam Houston State University's new $5.5 million facility, opened Feb. Feb. 11, 2006, with a 16-3 victory over Texas Southern.
The stadium is named to honor Houston entrepreneur and philanthropist Don Sanders who has donated $1 million to establish an endowment fund to enhance the baseball program at Sam Houston State University, Sanders's alma mater.
Sanders is founder and chairman of the investment firm Sanders Morris Harris. He is a former owner of the Houston Sports Association and the Houston Astros Baseball Club and currently, along with Nolan Ryan, is co-owner of Ryan-Sanders Baseball. Ryan-Sanders Baseball owns the Astros' Class AAA Round Rock Express and Class AA Corpus Christi Hooks.
Sanders is pictured at left with Sam Houston director of athletics Bobby Williams, head baseball coach Mark Johnson, baseball great Nolan Ryan and former university president Dr. Jim Gaertner at the dedication ceremony for the facility.
Sanders is a leading figure in Houston in a variety of civic, corporate and financial enterprises. He was the founder and chairman of the Houston Police Foundation and was a member of the University of Houston System Board of Regents and Houston Police Pension System. In 2001, he was named Houston Interfaith Charities' "Sportsman of the Year." His current board affiliations include the Nolan Ryan Foundation, the DePelchin Children's Center, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
"Our modern baseball facility is an outstanding recruiting tool," new SHSU head baseball coach Mark Johnson said. "The stadium was one of the first things that attracted me to the Sam Houston State job."
The facility is located east of the Bowers Stadium football facility and includes not only the stadium, but also spacious dressing areas, indoor hitting cages, lights, and coaches' offices. It is the newest baseball complex in the Southland Conference.
"Our first class baseball facility will enable our programs to recruit quality student-athletes and provide an excellent atmosphere to watch college baseball," SHSU director of athletics Bobby Williams said. "The facility upgrade was long overdue and can compete with any of the top baseball programs in the nation."
Sam Houston's Don Sanders Stadium was the site of the 2008 Southland Conference post-season tournament and each spring hosts numerous high school state playoff games.