Hundreds gather for Kannerstein Field dedication

Hundreds gather for Kannerstein Field dedication

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Haverford College hosted the official dedication ceremony for Kannerstein Field, its baseball facility, on Saturday, April 21, 2012, honoring Greg Kannerstein (1941–2009) whose 41 years of devoted service at the College touched the lives of many of the ceremony’s attendees.

A 1963 graduate who majored in English, Kannerstein was affectionately known as “Mr. Haverford,” a fitting moniker for an individual whose roles at the College included student, teacher, coach, dean and unofficial historian.

A local sportswriter in his initial post graduate years, Kannerstein returned to Haverford for a nearly uninterrupted stay in 1968 as the Assistant Dean of Students. Following a stint as the JV baseball coach from 1969-74, he stepped outside the institution for one brief period, earning his doctorate in higher education from Harvard University.

His return to Haverford in 1977 was the last move he would make, though his roles changed through the years. Upon his return, Kannerstein was named head baseball coach and compiled a 143-197-4 record over the 15-year span during which he led the program. He accepted the position of director of athletics in 1983, wearing the dual caps of head administrator and baseball coach until retiring from the dugout in 1992.

As director of athletics, one of Kannerstein’s lasting impressions on the campus was the construction of the Douglas B. Gardner '83 Integrated Athletic Center which opened in October 2005 shortly before he was named the dean of the College, a position he would hold from 2006 through 2009.

Saturday’s dedication ceremony brought home to Haverford many of the individuals on whom Kannerstein made lasting personal impressions.

An assemblage of baseball alumni combined with those whose lives Kannerstein affected as athletic director, admissions director, dean, or simply as friend or confidant, at what was originally Roy Randall Diamond, prior to the beginning of Saturday’s doubleheader against Gettysburg College.

Interim President Joanne V. Creighton welcomed Greg’s wife Elissa, stepdaughter Sara Sklaroff Carey and granddaughter Edie, along with fans and guests before handing the program off to baseball alum Mark Naples ’84.

Naples spoke about the core of his, and other baseball alums’, experience at Haverford not being about the wins or losses or statistics, but rather about the people met along the journey and the effect Kannerstein had on all who had contact with the legend. “When I think about Greg,” said Naples, “he makes me think about “what can I do?” That is what Greg Kannerstein did for me.”

Assistant coach Kevin Morgan, who played a significant role in the improvements and renovations of the facility, continued the ceremony relating to the standing-room only crowd that “Greg saw the best version of someone, before they even saw it themselves That is the gift that Greg had which is truly, truly inspiring.” Current director of athletics Wendy Smith ’87 concluded the opening remarks with the unveiling and reading of the plaque which will adorn the side of the press box behind home plate.

Smith was then joined by alums Jerry Miraglia ’80 and Bill Belt ’80 who received the ‘first pitch’ from granddaughter Edie to conclude the ceremony. The down-the-middle strike from Edie brought a roar from the crowd to conclude the ceremony.

The renovations of the facility include a new scoreboard which bears a Kannerstein Field placard and new outfield fencing, expanded seating for fans, a redesign of the backstop area, a 50-feet by 90-feet roofed hitting facility with turfed batting cages, an irrigation and watering system and new sod.