Today in NC State History: Riddick Mountain erodes away

January 18, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconThe Riddick Stadium Field House was torn down in April of 2013 in order to make NC State’s central part of campus easier to pass through. But that wasn’t the first time a landmark bearing the name of Wallace Carl Riddick, a university administrator and athletics coach during NC State’s infancy in the 1890s through the 1920s, was removed from campus.

It turns out 90 years earlier the winds of change carried Riddick Mountain away, as well.

It was on this day in 1923 when The Technician identified the “geological” anomaly and reported its end.

“The bold promontory running in a majestic sweep along the eastern side of Riddick Field, that same rocky ridge, sparsely overgrown with Bermuda grass, known locally as ‘Riddick Mountain,’ the haven of two-base hits, and the bane of an outfielder’s existence, will be leveled this spring at the close of the College baseball season,” the paper reported.

The erosion was a man-made one, part of an effort to remove 6,000 cubic yards of dirt and reconfigure the field to accommodate the growing popularity of State athletics. The field would grow by 20 percent, according to The Technician, which made possible the construction of a proposed quarter-mile track.

A baseball game at Riddick Field in the early 1920s.

A baseball game at Riddick Field in the early 1920s. Photo courtesy of the Agromeck.

As part of the changes, wooden bleachers were also brought in until permanent concrete stands could be added. There was a promise of new press box. And even ticket distribution was reimagined with all the changes.

“Another innovation to be inaugurated next fall will be the selling of numbered seats at all of the larger games,” The Technician reported. “Present plans call for the reserving of all seats in the east and west stands. Patrons may purchase tickets several days in advance of a game with the assurance that the seats will be released only upon the presentation of tickets.

“General admission tickets will be sold only for the stands at each end of field, and under no circumstances will spectators be allowed standing room in front of the bleachers along the side-lines.”

 

 

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