Giving a nod to their past

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: September 8, 2010

ALCORN STATE, Miss. — Alcorn State University marked the renaming of the campus baseball stadium and field — the Willie “Rat” McGowan Baseball Stadium and Dean William “Bill” Foster Baseball Field — this past Saturday.

The namesakes are both legendary Alcorn State alums and athletes.

McGowan retired as Alcorn’s State’s head baseball coach in 2009 after holding the position for 38 years. He posted 701 wins during his career as the Braves’ skipper and retired as the longest tenured coach in the SWAC.

McGowan won four SWAC Eastern Division titles and was named SWAC Coach of the Year four times (’78, ’79, ’81, ’88).

Foster also served as the university’s baseball coach after playing in the Negro National League in the 1920s and 1930s. He died in 1978 and was honored posthumously with an election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. in 1996.