For those who know his love of the sport, it came as no surprise that UCI's baseball field was named in honor of Chancellor Emeritus Ralph Cicerone. He was a driving force behind the return of the baseball program in 2002 and the refurbishing of Anteater Ballpark.
In recognition of his efforts, Cicerone was invited to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Anteaters' initial home game that year. And on May 19 he did it again, as Cicerone — who moved to Washington in 2005 to head the National Academy of Sciences — returned to Irvine to be honored for his contributions to the university and its baseball program.
Before the UCI-UCLA baseball game at Anteater Ballpark, Chancellor Michael Drake welcomed the crowd and expressed gratitude to Cicerone and his wife, Carol, for endowing a graduate fellowship in Earth system science earlier in the day. Then Drake and athletics director Michael Izzi presented the former chancellor with a customized Anteater baseball jersey and unveiled the diamond's new name: Cicerone Field.
“This is a lot of fun,” Cicerone said of the dedication ceremony. “And it's a tremendous honor to continue to be associated with UCI's baseball program.”