Rick and Jay Wagener are giving back to their university in a major way.
West Virginia announced on Monday that the Wagener’s have given a gift of $1 million to the Mountaineer baseball program. Because of this generous gift, starting in 2022, the baseball field will know be called Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark. The school says that this money will be used to help main the park, as well as assist in the Mountaineers greatest team needs.
“It’s gifts like this one from Rick and Jay Wagener that help our athletics department compete at the highest level,” said WVU Athletics Director Shane Lyons. “They met at West Virginia University as freshmen and never forgot their Mountaineer beginnings. The Wageners have been very generous to our department and baseball program through the years, and it’s going to be special to see the Wagener name on the field. To honor Rick and Jay, our goal is to make Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark one of the best home-field advantages in college baseball.”
“Rick was a tremendous player at West Virginia and into his pro career and has become a great friend and supporter to this program,” said WVU baseball coach Randy Mazey. “The generosity between him and his wife, Jay, is extremely appreciated, both to the team, as well as me personally. I want to thank them for all they done for Mountaineer baseball.”
Rick Wagener graduated from West Virginia in 1971 and was drafted by the NY Mets in the second round of the 1971 January Secondary Draft. Wagener became the first-ever freshman to play at the varsity level for West Virginia in 1986. The left-handed pitcher played at WVU from 1968-1971 and finished with a career record of 16-3 with a 1.79 ERA. He ranks No. 2 in Mountaineer history in strikeouts per nine innings (11.13) and No. 5 in career ERA.