Roy Helser Field
The transformation of Linfield's baseball facility began in the late 1980s. Most of the improvements were the result of direct support from community members, who donated untold amounts of time, energy and resources.
Roy Helser Field, together with Jim Wright Stadium, has developed from a below-average facility to a jewel among Northwest small colleges.
The facility has served as host of the 2009, 2010 and 2012 NCAA Division III regional playoffs and is again one of eight designated regional host sites in 2014.
The most recent addition was construction of a partially enclosed and fully covered batting practice structure, called "Carney's Cages" in honor of longtime baseball coach Scott Carnahan, who led the team from 1984 until 2007.
A major change took place in 2008 when the grass infield was replaced with a FieldTurf artificial playing surface. Drainage was improved and construction of covered, enclosed batting cages on the venue site was undertaken. Prior to the 2013 season, the dirt pitching mound was also replaced with artificial turf to match the infield surface.
In 2000, outdoor lighting was added to the field. Musco lighting systems were installed in the fall of 2000 to give more flexibility in scheduling while enhancing the facilities and allowing for NCAA post-season competition. Outdoor lighting provides additional opportunities for McMinnville-area youth teams during the summer.
Wright Stadium was added to Helser Field in 1990, replacing portable aluminum bleachers and a chainlink backstop.
The stadium, a crescent-shaped brick and concrete grandstand, offers intimate, unobstructed views of the action on the field. It contains 860 aluminum-backed seats, along with a fully enclosed press box, public address system, dressing room and
covered storage areas.
While the stadium was being built, Helser Field was undergoing renovation as well. Automatic underground sprinklers were put in place, Astroturf was installed in the batting cages, dugouts were erected and new grass was planted. A cyclone fence with vinyl slats was built along the field's perimeter, which was pushed back 20 feet to allow to allow room for the new stadium.
On May 25, 1991, Linfield dedicated its newly completed baseball stadium at Roy Helser Field in honor of Jim Wright, his wife, Sondra, and parents Edith (Hall) Wright of McMinnville and the late Neale Wright, class of 1929. Jim Wright, a Portland businessman, provided a large portion of the funding for the new stadium.
The first baseball field, cornered by Linfield Avenue and Davis Street, was home of the Wildcats for over four decades. In 1971, the Wildcats moved to their present location, south of Maxwell Field, near the end of Lever Street. The field was formally dedicated in 1973 in recognition of former athletic director, baseball and basketball coach Roy Helser. When Helser's 1966 baseball team won the NAIA championship, it was the college's first national championship in any sport.