Click Here To Donate to the Worthington Field Campaign
In an effort to recognize the baseball program's all-time winningest coach, Liberty Athletics has launched the Worthington Field naming campaign.
The campaign, which will be managed by the Flames Club, seeks to raise $500,000 to name the field at the Liberty Baseball Stadium in honor of Al Worthington.
The campaign was made possible by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, who permitted the Flames Club to offer the field to be named for Worthington for half of the original designated value, meaning the university is effectively matching contributions up to the $500,000 campaign goal.
The Flames Club has already receive a lead gift from former baseball standouts David and Jason Benham (1995-98). While the twin Benham brothers did not play for Worthington, they wanted to contribute to the effort to honor him for his outstanding testimony and relentless mission to use baseball as a platform for evangelism.
In 1974, Worthington came to Lynchburg to start Liberty's baseball program. His 13-year coaching stint enabled him to become the winningest coach in program history and finish with a 64.4 winning percentage (343-189-1). Following the first year of the program, Liberty never again had a losing record during the final dozen years under Worthington's tutelage.
During his time at the head of the program, Worthington coached four All-Americans and nine players who went on to play professional baseball, including Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame inductees Sid Bream (2009), Lee Guetterman (2010), Pat Sipe (2015) and Randy Tomlin (2016).
Liberty Athletics will commemorate the Benham's gift with the naming of a yet-to-be-determined space in their honor at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
About David and Jason Benham
Winners on and off the baseball diamond, David and Jason Benham helped guide the Liberty baseball program to unprecedented success during their playing careers.
The Flames posted a pair of 30-win seasons during their four-year playing careers. The brotherly duo capped their careers with a 32-29 record in 1998 that culminated in Liberty capturing the program's second Big South baseball title and advancing to the NCAA Regionals.
Jason became Liberty's first-ever Big South Player of the Year honoree in 1998. He was also the program's first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-America® selection as a third team honoree during his senior campaign. The third baseman currently ranks in Liberty's top 10 in career hits (242), doubles (49) and at bats (737).
David was a three-time All-Big South selection, earning first-team honors in 1996 and 1997 and second team honors in 1998. The catcher was named to the 1998 CoSIDA Academic All-District team along with his brother in 1998 and was nominated for the CoSIDA Academic All-America® team.
Following the 1998 season, both David and Jason Benham were drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft. Liberty had five draftees in 1998, tying Arizona State and Florida State with the most players drafted by one college team that season. David was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 12th round and Jason was a 37th-round draftee by the Baltimore Orioles.
About the Worthington Stadium Campaign
Those contributing to the Worthington Field campaign can have something appropriate to the gift amount named in their honor at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Gifts may be pledged up to five years, and naming opportunities begin at the $2,000 level for the naming of a locker in the Clendenin Locker Room. Because no benefits are received for contributions other than naming recognition, gifts may be fully tax-deductible (see your tax advisor).
While contributions to the campaign do not count toward the Flames Club Annual Fund, gifts do receive double loyalty points, significantly impacting contributors' priority ranking for seating and parking privileges if exercised.
Those interested in contributing should contact the Flames Club at 434-582-CLUB (2582) or FlamesClub@liberty.edu.
Fans can support Liberty Baseball and enjoy special game-day privileges by joining the Flames Club. The Flames Club exists to underwrite Liberty Athletics' three-fold mission to train Champions for Christ, provide a world-class student-athlete experience and achieve victory with integrity.
Flames Club membership starts at just $60 and members can enjoy preferred parking, seating and pregame hospitality benefits, based upon membership level.
About Liberty Baseball Stadium
Liberty played its baseball games at Worthington Stadium from 1979 until the program moved to Liberty Baseball Stadium for the 2013 season.
On May 3, 1986, Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell named Liberty's baseball facility Worthington Stadium. Liberty would go on to win that day, 19-3, against Maryland, capping off Worthington's stellar 13-year coaching career.
Since opening in 2013, the Liberty Baseball Stadium has been recognized as one of the top collegiate baseball stadiums in the country, including top-five rankings by Stadium Journey and NCAA.com.
Ian McCaw, Liberty University Director of Athletics
"We are grateful for the generosity and leadership of the Benham brothers in recognizing the importance of honoring Coach Worthington for his service to Liberty and the enormous impact that he had on the baseball program and athletics department."
Bob Good, Associate AD for Development/Executive Director of the Flames Club
"While we are inviting all of Flames Nation to participate in this campaign, it is our hope that the opportunity will be especially attractive to our baseball alumni and others who appreciate what Coach Worthington has stood for and the foundation he laid for our baseball program. He directly and indirectly influenced hundreds for eternity thru his leadership and his testimony, and we are excited to honor him with the permanent naming of Worthington Field. It is our hope that our baseball alumni, in particular, would have a desire to give back to their program, and that they would have even greater motivation to honor Coach Worthington in his sunset years."
David and Jason Benahm, Liberty baseball alumni (1995-98)
"Our time at Liberty changed our lives forever - we are eternally grateful for scholarships when our family needed them most. We could never match the investment made in us by this great school, so it's our honor to support the Worthington Field naming campaign and give back to the program and University that gave so much to us."
Scott Jackson, Liberty Head Baseball Coach
"It is both exciting and an honor to begin the process of naming our field after a Liberty baseball legend. Coach Worthington's impact on our school and the players he coached is incredible. The Benham brothers' recognition of this, along with their support of our program, makes this effort especially remarkable. I am eager to gather the support of all of our former players to celebrate Coach Worthington's legacy and to help in continuing to support their program."