Baseball Stadium

JCCC Baseball Quick Facts

Year Opened:
1973

First Game:
March 1974 (JCCC 14, Allen County 3)

Current Dimensions:
LF: 320, LCF: 365, CF: 400, RCF: 370, RF: 320

Previous Dimensions:
LF: 330, C: 410, RF: 330

Current Surface:
AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D60

Previous Surface:
Outfield Grass, Infield Grass and Dirt 

Drawings of Phase Two

Drawing of aerial view of the planned stage 2 improvements
Drawing of the entrance to the stadium - part of phase 2

Evolution of Stadium Improvements

Photo of the baseseball field prior to improvements
Original Grass Field (1974-2012)
Photo of heavy construction equipment tearing up old field
First Phase
Second view of torn up field
First Phase
Steam roller leveling new field surface
Second Phase
Photo of workers laying down the new AstroTurf surface
Third Phase
Photo of newly remodeled field
Remodeled Field (2013)

Several thousands come each year. Johnson County parents come to watch their sons compete. JCCC alumni come to see the next generation of Cavaliers. Johnson County students, faculty and staff members come for the sheer fun of it.  When the Johnson County baseball team takes the field this spring, the JCCC Baseball Complex will have a new and improved look.

The Johnson County Community College board of trustees approved renovations and improvements to the Cavaliers baseball facility at their July 19, 2012, meeting, and construction began in the fall. Improvements included in the project are a new playing surface, underground drainage, new dugouts, new backstop and fencing, and installation of lighting to allow play at night.

 A state-of-the-art AstroTurf Grass 3D60 infill system has been installed on the entire playing surface, joining Kansas, Kansas State and Wichita State as the only college baseball programs in the state with a full turf field. The new field replaced the natural grass field that was installed when the JCCC baseball program started in 1973. The new AstroTurf field is the same that was installed last summer at Kansas State University’s Tointon Family Stadium.

 A natural grass-colored surface was installed in the infield, outfield and foul territory areas, while a traditional clay-infield color will cover the warning track, base paths, infield dirt area, home plate circle and pitching mound. Additionally, permanent white lines will be installed for the foul lines and batter’s boxes.

This renovation gives JCCC baseball one of the top playing surfaces in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference and provides the team opportunities to practice and compete in all type weather conditions, as well as host top-notch amateur baseball championships during the year.

“My feet have not touched the ground since the night the board approved the project,” said JCCC head coach Kent Shelley. “What is being built now has been a dream of mine for 28 years. It is something I wanted for our players, alumni and community college. I am so proud of this facility and what it means to JCCC and the baseball community. It is now a state-of-the art classroom.”

There is a second phase planned for the project as well, which includes a 1,000-seat stadium with chairback seats behind home plate, an enclosed press box, a clubhouse and coaches’ offices behind the first base dugouts, restroom facilities and a concession stand.

Over the years, JCCC’s baseball facility has become accustomed to record-setting performances and postseason play.  Johnson County has hosted on several occasions the Eastern Sub-regional Tournament, the Region VI championship and the Central District championship.  JCCC’s field has even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated ­– the July 6, 1992, issue featuring former Major League umpire Steve Palermo. In August 2007, JCCC faced the Croatian Olympic Team in an exhibition game.

That is not the only tie Johnson County has to professional baseball.  Forty-six former Cavaliers have signed as free agents or been drafted by Major League organizations.  In 2002, former JCCC All-American Kit Pellow became the first former Cavalier to make it to the Major League level, when he was called up by the Kansas City Royals.  Two years later, he was the starting left fielder on opening day for the Colorado Rockies.

No Johnson County sport has a greater tradition and success than baseball.  Since the program’s inception in 1973, Johnson County baseball squads have posted a .658 winning percentage and experienced 36 winning seasons in 40 years. The program has produced 1,291 wins, eight conference championships, eight sub-regional championships, six Region VI titles, one NJCAA JUCO World Series, one top 10 National finish, and 10 NJCAA All-Americans.The 1974 squad, led by JCCC hall-of-fame coach Sonny Maynard, featured first-team All-American pitcher Bob Downs and honorable mention All-American second baseman Mark Balderston.  Those players propelled Johnson County to its first championship season and a No. 13 national ranking.  Maynard’s 1985 team set the standard for wins, posting 48 triumphs against just 14 losses.

The 1990 team, the fourth under head coach Kent Shelley, witnessed the first player in the program’s history to top .500 in hitting.  Scott Hennessey hit .508 while leading Johnson County to sub-region and region titles.

In 1994, Kit Pellow garnered second-team All-America honors while pounding 20 round-trippers, the country’s second highest total and new school record.  Shelley’s 1996 squad, possibly his most talented, belted a school record 50 home runs and finished the regular season ranked 11th in the country.  That season, the Cavaliers recorded one of the best starts in the program’s history, racing to an 18-4 mark on their way to a 36-14 record.

 The 2002 squad, led by Joe Gullion, established a new club record for home runs, belting 54 home runs.  Highlighting the season was Gullion breaking Pellow’s career mark for home runs.  He ended his career with 38.  Gullion tied Pellow’s season mark of 20 homers in the 2001 season.   JCCC also set stadium records for runs scored (35) and margin of victory (32) against Haskell.

The 2008 squad might go down as the greatest of all time.  The Cavaliers finished 41-18, won a region title and qualified for the NJCAA JUCO World Series for the first time in school history.  JCCC also produced two All-Americans in shortstop Doug Otto and pitcher Brandon Droge, and Otto became the first player in team history to earn a national Rawlings Gold Glove award.

In 2010, JCCC won 44 games, the most by a Shelley-led team, and captured the East Jayhawk Conference title, the first for the program since 1984. The team also finished No. 12 in the final regular season poll. That season also saw All-American Davis Morgan cap an amazing career. He hit .442 (92-for-208) with 17 doubles, four triples, 22 home runs and 92 RBI. His season totals for at-bats, hits, home runs and RBI set new team records. He also set the single season doubles record as a freshman. For his career, Morgan set new standards in doubles with 41 and RBI with 150. He also ranked second in career homers with 29 and hits with 157

In 2011,  Shelley won his 700th career game, and in 2014 topped 800 victories.  That same season, JCCC won 50 games, captured the East Jayhawk title for the third time in four years and qualified for the JUCO World Series for the second in the program's history.

During the summer, the baseball facility is used for the summer camp program.  Assistant coaches Eric Horner and David Canary, along with several players, conduct clinics for boys ranging in age from 8 to 18 on the offensive and defensive fundamentals of baseball.  Johnson County also offers specialized clinics that just focus on the mechanics of hitting and all aspects of pitching and catching.