No. 10 – Panther Park renamed Parish Field
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – As Panther Nation gears up for the start of the 2018-19 season, we've decided to look back at the impressive 2017-18 year in Plymouth State Athletics. Over the next few weeks we will reflect on some of the most exciting performances of last season while counting down the Top Ten Moments of 2017-18.
No. 10: Panther Park is renamed Parish Field
Panther Park became the home of Plymouth State baseball in 1980. The field would undergo various renovations to ultimately become one of New England's top small college baseball facilities.
On Sunday, May 6, the field was renamed Sharon and Carleton Parish Field in memory of the late Carleton Parish '71 and his wife Sharon, as a way to celebrate their longtime support to the university and baseball program.
Parish was the definition of a Panther for Life, exemplifying the phrase "Once a Panther, always a Panther." Following a four-year tour for the U.S. Navy, he attended PSU where, as a senior, he helped to found Phi Beta Upsilon, a fraternity for returning veterans that focused on providing service to the local community.
After losing his wife in a tragic car accident in the winter of 2011, Parish chose to honor Sharon's memory in the form of an endowed scholarship; the Sharon Rebecca Parish Memorial Scholarship in Business. Later, he opted to create a second scholarship, the Carleton R. Parish '71 Endowed Scholarship in Social Science. Over a dozen students have been recipients of Parish's philanthropy to date.
Parish was also an avid New England sports fan. As baseball was his favorite sport, he was naturally connected to the PSU squad, building strong relationships with coaches, student-athletes and parents alike. He regularly provided financial support for the team's annual spring trip to Fort Myers, Fla., donated Boston Red Sox memorabilia for the team's fundraising auction and hosted a coaches' social at his Ft. Myers home each year. In his will he left the remainder of his Red Sox collection to the team for future auctions, while also leaving a monetary donation to PSU's stadium and turf field project.
"Carl's two greatest loves were his wife, Sharon, and Plymouth State University," said John Scheinman, Director of Development and Major Gifts at PSU during the ceremony. "He bled green and what was evident from our first meeting to our last was his unwavering belief in education and his commitment to his alma mater."
President Donald L. Birx, former Director of Athletics and classmate of Parish's, John P. Clark '71, PSU baseball captain Dallas DeFrancesco and Parish's longtime friend, retired U.S. Marine Corps Major Joe Nemes, also spoke at the dedication. Following the unveiling of a new scoreboard bearing the field's updated name, Nemes and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Craig Souza '87, another longtime companion of Parish's, threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
There's no question Parish and his wife will be looking down over the Panthers when the 2019 season kicks off next spring.
– 30 –