Latham Stadium – Furman Paladins
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Furman University is a Baptist-affiliated liberal arts school in Greenville, SC. Founded in 1826, it is the oldest private university in the state of South Carolina. Today it has a student body of 2,800 students. It has long been regarded for its academic excellence, as US News and World Report has ranked Furman as the #1 liberal arts university in South Carolina. 97% of Furman’s senior class have received employment within 6 months of graduation.
Furman’s athletic teams compete at the Division I level in the Southern Conference. The teams go by the name of Paladins, and the school colors are purple and white. The baseball program is housed in the Furman Baseball Complex just inside the South Gate of the campus. This complex includes Latham Stadium, as well as the Masters Baseball Complex. Latham Stadium opened in 1956 and was the initial structure built on the present day Furman campus. The original Furman campus was in downtown Greenville.
Food & Beverage 3
Latham Stadium has one small concession stand operating out of the back side of the press box building. The selection of items is very limited, but the prices cannot be beat. Here is the complete menu: hot dogs ($3), nachos ($3), candy/peanuts/popcorn ($2), chips/crackers ($2), Pepsi brand sodas ($2), bottled water ($2) and coffee ($1). We are adding one additional point to this rating as the concession stand is run on a volunteer basis by parents of the players. That’s the team spirit, mom and dad!
As you would suspect, Latham Stadium has changed a great deal since opening in 1956. The original structure utilized shrubbery as the borders of the field due to financial restrictions! Eventually the field was enclosed by chain link fence and upgrades to the playing surface have been made several times over the years. Metal bleachers gave way to concrete and aluminum seating. Lights were added to the field in 2001 to allow for night games.
Massive changes have been made at the facility beginning in 2013. The Masters Baseball Complex building was constructed along the first base line. This facility includes locker rooms for both the home and visiting teams, coaches’ offices and athletic training facilities. It also includes an indoor batting facility, which is crucial to early season success. An important element of the new facility as far as fan engagement is the inclusion of a viewing deck overlooking the playing field. The deck includes patio furniture and umbrellas, so fans can enjoy their food and avoid the harsh South Carolina sun. This area is open to all fans attending the game. In 2016 a video board replaced the old scoreboard in right field. 2017 brought the most visible changes to Latham Stadium. The shrubbery along the outfield fences was replaced with a vivid purple protective surface to improve player safety. More important to the fans has been the replacement of the old aluminum seating with individual stadium seats, again in purple. This has greatly increased the seating comfort in the facility, and the inclusion of the school colors has created much more school spirit at games. Following these improvements, the stadium now has seating for 2,000 fans.
The Furman campus is in the northeastern suburbs of Greenville, SC. The immediate “neighborhood” surrounding Latham Stadium is the 175-acre Furman campus. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful campuses in the US. Each spring brings a spectacular blooming season at each of its many gardens. The campus is also home to a large lake that can be a very nice place to watch sunsets.
For those who want a more a more active visit, Greenville offers a wide variety of dining, entertainment and shopping options. First, head over to the Falls at the Reedy. This park is right in the middle of downtown and features a waterfall, the Liberty Bridge and some beautiful gardens. From there it is a short walk to Greenville’s top two baseball-related attractions, Fluor Field and the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum. Now that you have worked up an appetite, check out either the Carolina Ale House or Tupelo Honey Café. Lodging options back near Furman include the Best Western Travelers Rest or the Hampton Inn Travelers Rest.
The relative isolation of the Furman campus makes going to on campus athletic events a very popular pastime for the student body. As you would suspect at a small school, virtually everybody knows at least one player on the team as a friend or a classmate. The fans are usually bedecked in their best Paladin athletic wear and cheer loudly for the home team. You will not hear any trash talking to the visiting team, as the school encourages a strict code of conduct.
In addition to the student body, the games are well attended by both alumni and neighbors that live in the subdivisions near the campus. Almost everyone knows each other on a first name basis. They are very welcoming of visitors.
You will enter the Furman campus through its South Gate. The Latham Baseball Complex will be on your right as you enter the campus. Free parking is located on your left next to the Furman Athletic Department building.
For fans with mobility issues, Furman has installed some seating decks at the concourse level, (on an even level with the entry gates from the parking lot). These decks also include some very nicely padded rocking chairs!
Return on Investment 4
A trip to a Furman baseball game will not be costly for your family. All tickets are General Admission and cost $5. Parking is free adjacent to the stadium. The concessions are reasonably priced.
Latham Stadium was the first facility constructed on the modern-day Furman campus. The school was formerly located in downtown Greenville.
The seats in the stadium are one of the latest improvements to Latham Stadium. They are the result of a refurbishment project utilizing seats from Turner Field, former home of the Atlanta Braves. The seats now proudly display the purple colors of the Paladins. This is a great example of recycling usable products.
So, what is a Paladin? The Paladins were the legendary warriors from the court of Charlemagne. They are further described as “paragons of chivalry” and defenders of the noble cause.
The Paladins have won six Southern Conference baseball championships at Latham Stadium.
Furman does play at least two “home games” off the Furman campus. These games are played at Fluor Field in downtown Greenville. The first of these games is against their crosstown rival Wofford College. The schools are less than 20 miles apart, so the Greenville Drive’s home stadium provides a neutral field. The second game played at Fluor usually is against an ACC or SEC team and would exceed the capacity of Latham Stadium
Furman University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the South. It is well worth a visit. While you are there, check out the new upgrades at historic Latham Stadium.
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Hampton Inn Greenville/Travelers Rest
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