Do we have any baseball fans out there? Did you know that Cincinnati State briefly had its own baseball team? The college hinted at adding a baseball team for many years starting in the late 1970s. However, it wasn’t until the Spring of 2000 that the College finally added a club level baseball team with the idea to become intercollegiate in 2001. According to this article in the July 22, 1999 Cincinnati Post, former Withrow head coach Tom Chambers was named the first head baseball coach at Cincinnati State.
However, things didn’t work out as planned. According to this article in the April 26th, 2000 issue of The Cincinnati Post, the team suffered from several major issues. First, there was a large tree right in the middle of their home field in Salway Park (across from Spring Grove Cemetery). In addition to the tree, large geese populations made playing on the field somewhat slippery due to their droppings.
Large tree in Salway baseball field
Many of the 96 players who showed up for the first tryouts later failed to actually enroll in classes at the college or enrolled in too few classes to be eligible to play. This left only 13 players for the first season, which was especially difficult since many of the games were double headers.
When the team started its second season in the fall of 2000, they joined the OCCAC (Ohio Community College Athletic Conference), which scheduled a split season between the fall and spring to alleviate the high number of rainouts in the spring season. However, according to Coach Chambers, splitting the season made it difficult to recruit players. Also, although the conditions can be drastically different in the fall and spring seasons, the records are combined as if they were one season.
The team also lacked a home field in the second season and hopped around from one field to another. Needless to say, the team suffered many losses. In the summer of 2001, the college was facing several funding challenges, so the decision was made to discontinue the men’s baseball program.
Today, Cincinnati State has a very successful sports program. In the 2013-2014 season, 4 of Cincinnati State’s teams—men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, and men’s golf—advanced to the NJCAA national championships of their respective post-season tournaments. Check out this recent article for more information.