CONTACT: MARK JENNINGS
Director of Development
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973
or SCOTT BROGHAMER
Head Coad, University of Iowa Baseball
Phone: (319) 335-9390
Release: June 27, 2001
Chicago White Sox pitcher Cal Eldred, family fund lighting for UI baseball
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Cal Eldred is lighting up Hawkeye baseball once again.
But this time, instead of employing his expert pitching, the major-league
star and his wife, Christi, are making a gift to fund the installation of
lights at the UI's Duane Banks Field. The Cedar Rapids couple are giving $245,000
over two years to install lights at the baseball field named after Cal Eldred's
former coach, the UI Foundation has announced.
The gift, the largest ever from a current professional athlete's family to
UI athletics, allows the project to be completed by this September. The Hawkeyes'
first night games will be played in the spring 2002 season.
UI Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby hailed the Eldreds' generosity, saying,
"Cal and Christi's gift shows that once you're a Hawkeye, you're always
a Hawkeye. Cal has been representing Iowa well for years, first with the Milwaukee
Brewers and now with the Chicago White Sox, and has been making us all proud.
But the fact that he and Christi have remained true to their Iowa roots in
this very generous way makes us even prouder."
Iowa baseball coach Scott Broghamer noted that the Eldreds' gift is another
chapter in their long association with baseball in the state. "I coached
Cal when he played for Urbana High School in the mid-1980s, and he and Christi
have been Hawkeye supporters for years," Broghamer said. "This gift
will make our field one of the finest anywhere. We're very excited and grateful."
The Eldreds cited their desire to give back to the UI and to honor former
Hawkeye coach Banks and current coach Broghamerwho they said are their
good friends and longtime mentorsas reasons for making the gift. The
gift will be commemorated by a plaque at the field.
Cal Eldred, who grew up in Urbana and attended the UI for three years before
being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1989, said, "My experience
at Iowa helped shape me as a player and as a person. And Coach Banks has stayed
involved in my life and has always been there for me. I couldn't be happier
about making this gift for Hawkeye baseball. I hope others will consider helping
out however they can."
Christi Eldred, originally of Center Point, graduated from the UI with a
B.A. degree in history in 1993. "The UI was always so supportive of me
when I was in school during Cal's first years in the pros, and the Hawkeye
experience has shaped our lives in so many wonderful ways," she said.
"We want to raise our kids with Iowa values, and this gift is one way
of affirming our commitment to everything Iowa means to us."
Cal Eldred led the Hawkeyes in innings pitched in 1988 and in strikeouts
in 1989. He is currently on the disabled list with the Chicago White Sox,
after helping lead them into the 2000 playoffs with a 10-2 record.
The baseball field lights will be installed by Musco Lighting of Oskaloosa.
The Eldreds' gift is part of the university's planned comprehensive campaign
to advance the UI's strategic goals for the years 2000-2005. The campaign
will be conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation and will raise funds
to substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty
chairs and professorships; fund outreach and service programs to benefit individuals,
families, and communities throughout the state of Iowa; support new educational
and research facilities; build the UI's endowment; and launch new initiatives
in the arts, sciences, business, health care, athletics and recreation and
other fields. The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions
to all areas of the university.