USC Gamecocks Baseball

Retiring numbers, honoring USC’s baseball tradition — Mark Kingston wants more of it

USC baseball Founders Park gets a new scoreboard

USC coach Mark Kingston expresses why he is excited about the new scoreboard at Founders Park.
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USC coach Mark Kingston expresses why he is excited about the new scoreboard at Founders Park.

South Carolina baseball fans showing up on opening day this Friday will be greeted by a new sight along the right field wall.

Stretching from the foul pole to the bullpen, the years of South Carolina’s NCAA tournament, Super Regional and College World Series appearances are now listed, as well as the years when the Gamecocks finished as national runners-up.

In addition, the national championship logos from 2010 and 2011 flank either side of the center field wall.

The new decals are the idea of coach Mark Kingston, who’s starting his second season with USC. Despite coming to Columbia with no connection to the program, Kingston said he felt it was important to install visual reminders of the team’s rich history for everyone to see.

“I think the tradition of our program is so great, and I want to honor it every chance we get. It’s a chance to honor every great player, coach, team that’s ever played here and see it every day for our players, our fans. Any time we can honor the people who built this program, I’m all for it,” Kingston said.

On the left field wall, the No. 1 jersey and name of former coach Ray Tanner remains the only jersey retired in program history. But Kingston is on the same page as Tanner, now the athletic director — both men want to retire more jerseys, though the timeline for doing so remains unclear.

“We want to retire numbers as well. There’s one out there right now. We’d like to add a lot more because there’s been a lot of deserving people in our program that deserve to be up on the wall,” Kingston said. “That has to go through different channels but that’s something you’ll definitely see as well.”

IF YOU GO

What: South Carolina baseball vs. Liberty

Where: Founders Park

When: Friday, 4 p.m.;

Saturday, 3 p.m.

Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

Tickets: Starting at $6

Radio: 107.5 FM in Columbia area

Watch: Games 1 and 3 streaming on SEC Network Plus via WatchESPN

Weather forecast: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers on Friday, chance of precipitation at 30 percent with a high of 68 degrees. The chance of rain rises on Saturday and Sunday to 40 percent, with the temperature dipping slightly to highs of 66 and 63, respectively.

Greg Hadley is the beat writer for South Carolina women’s basketball and baseball for GoGamecocks and The State. He also covers football and recruiting.
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