Wednesday’s grand opening ceremony for Palomar College’s new ballpark was not only a beginning for Buck Taylor’s preseason state ranked No. 2 Comets, but also the start of what will eventually be a revamp of Palomar’s entire athletic program in the coming years.
Ceremonies for the opening began well before game time as Interim President Adrian Gonzales welcomed the large group in attendance to the new complex near the entrance. Representatives from the offices of various elected officials such as Darrell Issa, Marie Waldron, and members of the Escondido Council also were in attendance to view, praise and deliver various awards in honor of the school’s latest venture.
“I think it was a fantastic day for Palomar College athletics and for the district. We are really appreciative of all the support from our board, current interim president, and administration,” Scott Cathcart, athletic director, said.
After the ribbon cutting, refreshments were provided by Swinterton Builders while administrators, faculty, athletic staff and other members of the campus community mingled among the crowd, which included alumni of the Palomar baseball program.
Retired President Robert Deegan, who was heavily involved with the project since 2006, attended the event.
He called the new stadium “another outstanding example of a facility that meets the needs of our students and indeed can provide a source of pride for our local community.”
Deegan was slated to throw the ceremonial first pitch, but feigned an injury and passed the honor to Bob Vetter, the former head coach of Comets baseball and retired director of kinesiology.
John Woods, Palomar’s former athletic director, was also in attendance.
Woods called the new stadium the beginning of “something really special.”
“I think the athletic program will now be able to recruit on not only the [athletic] excellence and academic excellence, but a facility that kids are proud to play on.”
The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by the Comets’ first game of the season. Although well-attended, Palomar lost 3-7 against College of the Desert.