WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue baseball's historic 2012 season coincided with the final campaign in the history of Lambert Field, the home of the Boilermakers since 1965. During the final homestand (May 9-15) at the old ballpark, Purdue athletics asked for your favorite memories of Lambert Field. Here is a collection of those memories.
The Boilermakers went 13-3 at home this spring and 554-391-4 in their 48 seasons at Lambert Field. Among those 13 victories this year were the Big Ten title clincher (May 12 vs. Michigan) and head coach Doug Schreiber's program-record 408th career win (April 15 vs. Illinois).
Purdue opened and closed its 2012 home schedule with walk-off wins against NCAA Tournament qualifiers, defeating both Louisville and Indiana State, 2-1. The Boilers also defeated Michigan State on a 14-inninng walk-off April 28 in the program's longest game since 2004. Cameron Perkins delivered the walk-off RBI against MSU and Indiana State. Stephen Talbott came through with the game-winning hit versus Louisville. Eric Charles tied the MSU game with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. But it was Sean McHugh who delivered the most heroic swing of the home season, delivering a game-tying, pinch-hit home run with two outs in the ninth inning against Indiana State. McHugh single handedly made one more inning at Lambert Field a reality.
The team practiced at its new stadium, Alexander Field, the week leading up to the NCAA Regionals. An exciting future lies ahead for the program and Alexander Field will provide a new setting for memorable moments to come. But the final season at Lambert Field was a fitting culmination of the many great years of Purdue baseball played at the historic ballpark.
Purdue Athletics is still accepting your Lambert Field memories. Submit your memories via THIS LINK and they will be added to this page.
Purdue Alumni Share Their Lambert Field Memories (Seasons played for Purdue, if applicable)...
Special Inclusion from Bob Sattler (1946-47), A memory of Ross-Ade Field/Old Lambert Field: "I joined the Navy V-5 V12 program in 1944 and was sent to DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. for 16 months then to Purdue where I eventually finished with five varsity letters, Baseball - 2, Basketball -- 2 & Football -1. The 1948 game against Michigan is obviously my most memorable sports event. It was described as such in the 1948 Purdue Debris yearbook:
"Purdue's outstanding game of the season was against Michigan when Bob Sattler pitched a one-hitter. Sattler had no-hit laurels in his grasp with two out in the ninth inning when Jack Weisenburger singled for the Wolverines' lone hit of the afternoon. Bob struck out the next batter to end the game with the final score reading Purdue 12, Michigan 0. Sattler also stopped Indiana in the final game to account for two of Purdue's four conference triumphs."
"I sat in the locker room waiting for coach Ray Schalk. When he got there he said, `Bob after this I want you to throw the ball as fast as you can at least three times during the game." Coach Schalk was one of the finest men I have ever known. He taught me how to pitch."
John Dykes (1973-74): "On this particular day in April 1973, we were playing Wisconsin. There was a strong wind blowing straight out to center at Lambert Field. On my first three trips to the plate, I had three doubles (one of which was to dead center off the 388 foot sign - that was helped significantly by the wind - although I was only using a wood bat). Unknown to me at the time, this tied a Big Ten record for most doubles in a game. Had I known this, I would have not settled for a walk on my fourth trip to the plate, but rather would have kept swinging for the fourth double."
Steve Bradford (1979-82): "In 1981, pitching Purdue past Ohio State, 3-1, to qualify the Boilers for their first Big Ten Tournament (when only the top 4 teams made it)."
Bob Hallas (1979-82): "Coach Alexander told Steve Bradford and I to sit in the trainer's truck due to cold weather during the first game of a doubleheader in 1979 because he had no idea which one of us was going to throw the second game that day. In between games, Coach Alexander opened the door and threw me the ball and told me I was throwing the second game in 20 minutes so hurry up and go warm up!! We ended up beating Northwestern 5-1 on a day when the temperature was hovering around freezing."
Pete Maniago (1983-86): "My favorite memory was when we would jog across Slayter Hill to get to Lambert Field. The worries of school and life would fade away because you were going to spend time with your Purdue family. I remember telling stories, laughing and sharing our common bond. Some of the best times in baseball are shagging fly balls with friends in the outfield and talking around the batting cage during batting practice. Lambert Field was not only my home field, but my `home' for my four years at Purdue. The friendships, competition and games have contributed to what we all are today."
Tom Kitchel (1986-89): "In May of 1988 our season was winding down with a weekend series against the Evansville Aces. Evansville's ace pitcher was a guy named Andy Benes, who at that time was undefeated and regarded as one of the best pitchers in the country. We took the Aces down that day, 6-4. Mike Galle and I homered twice each off of their `stud.' Mike and I didn't really think too much of it until three weeks later when Benes was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1988 MLB draft. Coach Alexander to this day still chuckles about the postgame interviews Mike and I did with the media. We had no idea Benes was so highly regarded, so when asked about the game we both just kind of shrugged it off as no big deal in our `country bumpkin way.' You see Coach thought we should have built Benes up to be the greatest pitcher that ever walked the planet. Actually if my memory serves me right, he did strike out 15 that day in a 7 inning game."
Pete Altenberger (1987-90): "Why was Lambert built at the bottom? Running the Lambert Hills was always part of Coach Green's conditioning for the pitchers but when Coach Alexander found out about some shenanigans by some of us at the football game, it was a day of running none of us will ever forget. It must have been the 'standing room only crowds,' but in the 1987 season Lambert was our house and we just didn't lose at home. Later it was a tough summer in 1987 with the heat. Was that grass or concrete we played on?"
David Omholt (1989-82): In May of 1991, hitting back-to-back game-winning, walk-off homers (vs. Illinois and Northwestern) at home (within 72 hours of each other). These were after I booted routine ground balls and almost lost both games! Lambert was always good for some emotional rollercoasters. I think it had a bad sense of humor. But I will always be indebted to the field."
Sherard Clinkscales (1990-92): "My two favorite memories are pitching a no-hitter against Indiana in 1992, making me 3-0 against our rival. And in 1990 after being blown out by Michigan in the first two games, I pitched a complete game and we beat them, 2-1. I struck out (future Big Leaguer) Mike Matheny three times. I am excited that the team is having such a great year; coach Schreiber should be commended. I am even happier that the team will be moving into a field named after the man who is the biggest reason why I have had any success, Dave Alexander. His loyalty and dedication are the hallmarks of Purdue baseball. I will always be loyal to the Boilermakers because of him."
Archi Cianfrocco (1987): "Recently I attended a Purdue game in Indianapolis to watch my son play. I was surprised to see an ex-Wiley Hall friend and former Purdue track athlete Brian Kiser. Brian was the lucky recipient of a home run I hit at Lambert field onto the track. Brian was throwing the discus when a ball rolled over to him. He picked it up and put it in his bag. He later found out it was a ball I had hit and made me autograph it for him with my name, date and sixth home run of the year. Brian gave the ball to his dad for his collection. Unfortunately, his dad recently passed away. Brian knew my son played for Purdue and heard I was in town. He drove to Indy to give me the ball back. To this day I remember hitting that home run and signing that ball for him. Great memories and great people."
Eric Erb (1988-91): "My favorite memories of Lambert field all involve catching for some really great guys with some really fantastic pitches. This was back when catchers calling a game wasn't unusual. The pitches I loved to call included: Sherard Clinkscale's fastball, Tom Mayer's heavy heavy sinker, John Carrico's big sweeping curve, Jason Smith and Pete Altenberger's change-up, Keith Flexsehar's knuckle-curve, and last but not least, Andy Swain's slider -- if anyone ever did hit it, I can't remember it."
Steve Lorek (1995-98): "Lambert Field reminds me of hearing marching band practice in the fall, scoreboard construction, hawks roosting on top of the fist base light pole, shoveling snow off the field before the Michigan homestand in 1996, catching in an open bullpen, the gale-force winds blowing out in the spring and wins over Indiana. But the one memory that sticks out is the final homestand of 1998, spending time with parents and friends, and Chris (Hank) Walker's dad grilling burgers. It was a tough year but we had some good times."
Todd Jensen (1991-95): "Earning a 10-1 victory over 1995 Big Ten regular-season and tournament champion, Ohio State, was a great win for me personally, especially after we lost a 1-0 game earlier in the series when Mike Hedman threw a no-hitter against them. In 1995 we also beat a good Northwestern team, 1-0, when we scored the game's only run in the bottom of the ninth. It was also exciting to take 3-of-4 from Indiana on the season's final weekend to earn a spot in the Big Ten Tournament. It's always great beating the Hoosiers, but we were not expected to make the tournament that year, so to get in on the last weekend by beating our arch rival, made it that much more sweet."
Doug Kelly (1993-96): "Listening to nothing but Bob Seger playing on the PA system while Coach Green threw BP. Every time I hear "Against the Wind" it reminds me of shagging balls in the outfield."
Dan Stahl (2006-07): "Lambert Field will not be remembered as an ostentatious facility. But despite its relative modesty, it was our yard and we were proud to call it home."
Sean Williams (1995-96): "Spending all morning shoveling the field to get rid of snow to get ready for a game with Michigan."
Gerald Stacy: "I can still see Gordon Teter running through the center field fence chasing a fly ball home run in the spring of 1965. I don't remember whom the game was against nor do I remember the score. I do remember that the fence was hardly what you would call permanent. Since Teter was a running back on the football team, the fence was no match for him."
Tom Nielsen: "The doubleheader against Minnesota in 2008. Purdue scored four runs in the seventh inning to win 7-6 in the first game, then later the Boilers scored six runs in the 6th to win 7-5 in the second game (back when doubleheaders were two seven-inning games). Also, the 14-inning thriller against Michigan State this season. Eric Charles tied it up with a two-out single in the ninth and then Cameron Perkins won it in the 14th with a single to drive in Tyler Spillner. Forty-five degrees and windy never felt so good."
Kent Sheets: "In 1976 and 1977, I went to games at Lambert on a regular basis to watch my friend, Dave Barncord, play second base for the Boilers. His roommates and I were there whenever we could make it to root on him and his teammates. His parents drove down from South Bend to support him as well with his father faithfully keeping score of every inning of every game, including updated statistics in a day where an HP calculator was still somewhat of a new fangled invention."
Hillary Bradford: "Sunday afternoons watching the game from the hill or the bleachers."
John Ferry: "I would nominate the April 2001 series against Penn State. I was in charge of running the scoreboard that weekend, which featured four remarkable games. Purdue won three of them and probably should have swept the series. We all had a big cookout on Saturday night. There was talk, even then, about a better facility. Well, some years later a new stadium is about to become a reality."
Travis Miller: "My Favorite memory of coming to baseball games at Lambert Field occurred at the one game I've been able to get to this season. Eric Charles' two-out, ninth inning clutch single against Michigan State tied the second game of the series and Purdue went on to win in 14 innings."
Bob Fenster: "Two outs, bottom of the ninth with Purdue losing 1-0, pitch hitter Sean McHugh connects for a game-tying home run to send the game into extra innings. Cameron Perkins then wins the game in the 10th. It was an amazing finish in a season of numerous memorable moments by the 2012 Dream Team."
Jeff Kissel: "My favorite memory at Lambert is the last game I saw there -- May 15, 2011 against Illinois. The game was inconsequential (Purdue lost), but rather it was what happened before the game that was memorable. I didn't have an umbrella, but on the cold and rainy day I made do with what I had in the trunk of my car to wait out the rain delay while keeping my seat, scorebook and feet dry. A little Purdue ingenuity led to a Boilermaker poncho with blankets getup, which the BTN camera crew and announcers appeared to enjoy. Sadly, I didn't get to see any more games at Lambert Field this season, but managed to get to a few in other places. It was a true pleasure to follow the greatest season in Purdue history, even from afar."
Matt Morgan (2007-11): "Barret Arthur leaving a perfect sweat imprint of his body on the left center wall after crashing into it to make a play."
Rob Smith: "The 16-inning Easter Sunday win against Ohio State in 2004. Trey Dauby and Jason Driscoll were awesome that day out of the bullpen. Simon Klink hit a huge three-run bomb off Trent Luyster to tie it in the eighth."
Michael Westfall: "Years back a Michigan State fan said `relax and drive the one you like' while Purdue was issuing an intentional walk."
Evan Mazur: "Watching Dan Black get walked three times in a game only to homer in the one at-bat when they finally pitched to him."
Mark Moehling: "Bringing couches out onto the hill, playing cornhole and refilling our bottomless popcorn tub every inning."
Andrew Marking: "Stephen Talbott's walk-off single against Louisville in the bottom of the 10th inning of the 2012 home opener."
Steve Bean: "Cameron Perkins' walk-off single in 14th inning vs. Michigan State in 2012."