SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Syracuse Baseball is celebrating its 150-year history this Friday at NBT Bank Stadium. The club team will take on Binghamton in a doubleheader at the home of the Syracuse Mets, the New York Mets’ AAA affiliate. The event will feature an alumni welcome table and a pre-game celebration with a first-pitch ceremony.
The event has been in the works since October 2022 when senior club baseball player, Michael Patrick Geiss began a fundraiser called the “Boost Up Challenge.” The fundraiser was posted throughout social media and the S.U. alumni office where the club raised over $7,000.
“We really built this from the ground up, and it’s a great feeling. [Alumni] want to help our players succeed and they want to help the program do well in the future- and the fact that the school is behind it- it’s awesome,” said Geiss.
Baseball at Syracuse University was played at the varsity level until 1972, when the school stopped supporting the team. Players soon adapted to a club team, now playing in the New England – West division in the National Club Baseball Association. Despite this change, Club Baseball president, Connor Burke, is still honored to represent the Syracuse block-S.
“There hasn’t been a D1 team in quite a while; but we’re still here. Celebrating what they were able to do in the past and their great history. It’s really important to us to keep that tradition going,” said Burke.
Syracuse’s baseball history is often forgotten amongst the prestigious basketball and football programs. SU finished second in the country in 1915 as well as reaching the Omaha World Series in 1961. The 150-year history featured 24 total Major League Baseball players, including two MVPs.
As a club, Syracuse has played a variety of local New York teams, including Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland. The Orange currently hold a spring record of 1-1 after playing their first series last weekend at Boston University. This week’s opponent, Binghamton, has played four more games, sitting at 5-1 coming into the doubleheader. Binghamton currently has a D1 team that was created in 1948, a regular opponent of Syracuse’s former varsity team.
“SU has played them for a long time. It’ll be nice to renew that matchup and build club sports. More games, more partnerships; it’s all good for our team,” Geiss said.
Former SU Varsity Head Coach, Herm Card, is set to throw the honorary first pitch at 5 p.m. Game two of the doubleheader is planned for 7 p.m. The event will be free to attend for everyone. Connor Burke is expecting a great crowd of alumni, Syracuse students and fans.
“Without all the people who donated a bunch of money, we wouldn’t be able to do something like this. We’re really appreciative of everyone that donated to us, and we’re excited to put this weekend on. It’s a big thank you for everything [baseball alumni] put in place for us and continuing the tradition of baseball in Syracuse,” said Burke.