COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Few families have meant more to the history of Lindsey Wilson College baseball than the Egnew family of Stearns, Ky.
And on Tuesday afternoon, the college immortalized the McCreary County family's name by christening the newly opened baseball park as Egnew Park.
The Egnew family is "one of the cornerstones of the program," Lindsey Wilson baseball coach Mike Talley said at Tuesday's dedication ceremony.
"Words cannot begin to express the gratitude we feel toward you for all you have done," Talley said. "Much of the success that we have enjoyed over the years would not have been realized without the support and leadership of J.C. Egnew."
Talley, who is in his 18th season as LWC baseball coach, first encountered the Egnew family in the early 1990s. Alex Egnew pitched for the Blue Raiders from 1993-96. He threw four career shutouts, making him co-leader on the Blue Raiders' all-time list. Alex was also a member of Talley's first graduating class of baseball players. Alex's wife, Becki, is a 1995 Lindsey Wilson alumna.
Alex's father, J.C., made his first gift to LWC in 1991 when the college was "pretty lean."
"Lindsey Wilson was pretty lean when we (first) came over here," he said during the ceremony.
Egnew said that leadership has been key to Lindsey Wilson's success over the last two decades.
"Good leadership can overcome anything," he said.
J.C. Egnew funded the baseball program's first assistant coach, made the first tarpaulin used to protect the old baseball field's infield, and also supplied funds for Egnew Field's lights and locker rooms.
"It is because of the generosity of people like the Egnews that our current student-athletes, and those to come, will play baseball in this top-notch facility," said Lindsey Wilson Athletics Director Willis Pooler.
And Talley noted that the Egnew family's support of Lindsey Wilson goes beyond baseball.
"They believe in college's mission and support the Lindsey Wilson mission," he said.
J.C. Egnew said his family supports Lindsey Wilson because of a desire to make the world a better place.
"At the end of the day, I think we're all put on this earth to leave it better than we found it," he said.