Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) will host the ribbon-cuttings of the Downey Baseball Operations Center & Clubhouse and the Shawn Kelley K Club on Friday, April 1st at 4:00pm in Lot 50 on the APSU campus.
The Downey Baseball Operations Center & Clubhouse is located at Raymond C. Hand Park on the northwest corner of the APSU campus. The construction of that facility was made possible by a transformative gift from APSU alumni Doug Downey (’79) and Linda Moore Downey.
This facility was made possible by the generosity of alumnus Shawn Kelley (’06), his wife, Kristina, and their family. Both Doug Downey and Shawn Kelley are former Governors baseball players.
Linda Downey was born in Bermuda and raised in Clarksville and worked for her family business, Moore’s Office Supply, and Jackson Oil, prior to her and Doug moving to Springfield. There, she was a small business entrepreneur and has been a dedicated volunteer in the Springfield Robertson County area. She is now also a proud grandmother.
Doug Downey came to Clarksville as a right-handed pitcher from the Cincinnati area, and he immediately made an impact as a back-end staple for the Governor’s bullpen. Downey led the team in appearances all four years of his career (1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979), and at the end of his playing career he was ranked in the top 10 in five different pitching categories.
He remains in the APSU record book with the 12th best career Earned Run Average, one spot behind Shawn Kelley. Downey was the 1979 APSU Team Captain and Most Valuable Player. He was selected to the All OVC Team and finished runner-up in the voting for the APSU Department of Athletics’ “Most Valuable Senior Athlete,” which was known as the Joy Award at that time.
After his time at APSU, he went into banking and then spent 25 years with HCA Healthcare as the Vice President of Treasury Services before his retirement.
The Downeys previously made a gift to set up the Downey-Moore Creative Media Suite, located in the APSU Department of Athletics. Doug also serves as the chair for APSU’s athletics foundation subcommittee. In 2018, Doug and Linda were named the Philanthropists of the Year by the APSU Board of Trustees.
“APSU, the University, the entire Athletic Department and specifically Governor baseball are very special to me and to my wife Linda,” Doug Downey said. “The Operations Center and Clubhouse is a tribute to every Governor baseball player past, present and future, and we hope many more championships will be celebrated inside those walls.”
Shawn Kelley was a member of the Governors baseball team for five seasons, finishing with 298 career strikeouts – the most of any Govs pitcher. He also ended his career as one of only two Governors student-athletes to leave Austin Peay with four Ohio Valley Conference Championship rings. He was inducted into the APSU Hall of Fame in 2014.
Kelley was the 2007 OVC Pitcher of the Year and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 13th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. He went on to have an 11-year MLB career with the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees, the San Diego Padres, the Washington Nationals, the Oakland A’s and the Texas Rangers. His vibrant career has brought much honor and distinction to Austin Peay State University.
“My Austin Peay experience meant so much to me,” Shawn Kelley said. “My time as a Governor paved the way for my career as a professional baseball player, and I am happy to give back to the team and all of the current and future student-athletes who are fortunate enough to be a part of this outstanding program.”
The celebration will continue throughout the weekend at a variety of Governors sporting events. On Saturday, April 2nd, a Govs Baseball Jersey Retirement will take place shortly before 1:00pm, when the Governors baseball team will once again play Southeast Missouri on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Also at 1:00pm that day, the Governors softball team will take on Tennessee Tech on Cheryl Holt Field at Cathi Maynard Park. After the 1:00pm games, a Govs Softball Jersey Retirement will be held. At 3:00pm on April 2nd, Governors softball will play Tennessee Tech again on Cheryl Holt Field at Cathi Maynard Park.
On Sunday, April 3rd, Governors baseball will play Southeast Missouri for the third time. Also at that time, Governors softball will play Tennessee Tech for the third time that weekend.
To RSVP for the ribbon-cuttings, visit alumni.apsu.edu/govsbaseball22. To purchase tickets for any of the baseball and softball games, call 931.221.PEAY or visit letsgopeay.com.