WVU baseball stadium gets new name after major gift from Wagener family


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. West Virginia University graduates and supporters Rick and Jay Wagener have made a major donation of $ 1 million to the WVU baseball program.

The donation will help maintain and maintain the Monongalia County Baseball Stadium, as well as meet the team’s most important needs. For their generosity, the Wageners’ namesake will be recognized on the field from 2022 and known as Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark.

“It’s gifts like this from Rick and Jay Wagener that help our athletic department compete at the highest level,” said athletics director Shane Lyons. “They met at West Virginia University as freshmen and never forgot their beginnings in the mountains. The Wagener have been very generous to our department and our baseball program over the years, and it will be special to see Wagener’s name on the field. To honor Rick and Jay, our goal is to make Wagener Field at Monongalia County Ballpark one of the best perks of the college baseball field. “

“Rick was a tremendous player in West Virginia and in his professional career and has become a great friend and supporter of this program,” said WVU baseball coach Randy Mazey. “The generosity between him and his wife, Jay, is extremely appreciated, both for the team and for me personally. I want to thank them for everything they have done for Mountaineer baseball.

Rick Wagener, who graduated in 1971 with a degree in Industrial Management from the College of Business & Economics at WVU and a former member of the WVU baseball team, is the managing partner and registered principal at Wagener-Lee, LLC, an advisor financial and investment company located in Columbia, Maryland. In total, he has practiced global financial planning and portfolio management for over 30 years. Prior to that, Wagener spent three seasons with the New York Mets from 1971 to 1973, after being selected by the club in the second round of the January 1971 secondary draft.

Wagener is also a founding partner of Heavy Seas Brewery, which was established in 1995.

“Baseball brought me to West Virginia, and baseball brought us back,” said Rick Wagener. “I am overwhelmed by how lucky I have been and how my time at WVU has influenced so many times in my life.”

“After school and college, I’ve always loved going out to watch my favorite sport: baseball,” said Jay Wagener. “Sometimes my future husband was even throwing. I am so happy that we are able to support student athletes and coaches now and in the future. “

Wagener, a left-handed pitcher from Linthicum, Md., Finished with an impressive 16-3 overall record and a 1.79 ERA in West Virginia from 1968 to 1971. He pitched 156.0 career innings at WVU, totaling 193 strikeouts in 26 career outings. Wagener was WVU’s strikeout leader for three consecutive seasons from 1969 to 1971 and led the club in wins in 1971. All-time, he ranks No.2 in program history in terms of strikeouts per nine innings (11.13) and No. 5 career ERA (1.79).

Of note, Wagener was the very first freshman to play at the college level for the Mountaineers in 1968.

Away from the field, Wagener is a proud alumnus of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He credits his friends, brotherhood, and baseball as influencing factors in his remaining relationship and commitment to WVU, as well as many other areas of his life.

Jay Wagener is also a graduate of WVU, graduating in political science in 1971. She was president of her sorority, Kappa Delta, and remained involved in the chapter for several years. The couple first met in their first year of economics class in West Virginia and have now been married for 49 years. After graduation, Jay, a longtime baseball fan, spent time in the real estate industry as a manager and real estate agent, before devoting his life to raising and supporting his family.

Rick and Jay have two daughters, Jenifer and Amanda, and currently reside in Ellicott City, Maryland.

The Wageners’ support for Mountaineer baseball has been felt for a number of years. The family currently sponsors the Wagener-Gearhart Baseball Scholarship and generously donated to help with the first wave of stadium renovations, which included the installation of the coaches’ suite and the team hall.

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