This morning, according to a press release, Wayne County native Rob Wooten has agreed to purchase the Eastern Carolina Athletic Park (ECAP).
ECAP is a 60-acre facility with seven fields and a 15,000 square-foot field house along with a press box and restaurant. For over 20 years, ECAP has hosted hundreds of baseball and softball tournaments and events.
Wooten, currently of the Cincinnati Reds and C35 Sports Academy, is partnering with his brother, Elliot Barnes. They will immediately begin upgrades to the facilities and rebrand the park as the C35 Sports Complex. The C35 Sports Complex will retain and develop strong ties to the community while building a world-class sports experience.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to get back to my roots. ECAP was instrumental in my development as a young player,” Wooten stated. “We are very excited to get to work.”
Wooten played high school baseball at C.B. Aycock before moving on to play for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wooten was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 13th round of the 2008 MLB draft. Over a 12 year MLB career, Wooten played for the Brewers, Braves and Reds organizations.
Wooten retired from major league baseball in 2020, and he accepted the role of pitching coach with the Reds organization.
For the last 10 years, ECAP was owned by former athlete Ralph Britt. Britt, who is now an entrepreneur in the Mount Olive area, played for the N.C. State Wolfpack and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“The Britt family was honored to be a part of the community and deeply expresses their thanks to ECAP’s members and employees,” Britt stated.”We loved our time there, but look forward to what Rob and his team will build.”