John Smoltz Visits Hermleigh ISD, Field of Dreams

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John Smoltz makes an appearance at Hermleigh ISD this past Saturday to celebrate the installation of the first Shaw Sportexe TruHop synthetic turf baseball field.

the baseball and softball fields are truly Hermleigh’s field of dreams

If you travel down U.S. Highway 84, ninety–six miles southeast of Lubbock you’ll find the small town of Hermleigh, Texas. Nestled amidst boarded up houses, uninhabited and lost by the years, is a shiny new high school, Hermleigh ISD.

This town is reminiscent of the one in the famous 1989 baseball flick, you know, the one about a baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield? Well, this may not be Iowa and Texas may not be known for their corn fields, but “the baseball and softball fields are truly Hermleigh’s field of dreams. And the saying, ‘if you build it, they will come.’ Well, that’s proving to be true too as we are honored to have Cy Young award winning pitcher John Smoltz here to dedicate our field of dreams” said Gary Rotan, the superintendent of Hermleigh schools.

And come he did. The former Major League Baseball pitcher and current TBS sportscaster traveled to west Texas on Saturday to present Hermleigh ISD officials with a plaque honoring the school for the first ever TruHop installation, a synthetic turf system developed by Shaw Sportexe specifically for baseball and endorsed by the legendary pitcher himself. TruHop was chosen by Hermleigh for its playability, performance and its durability, something natural grass just can’t rival. “I am impressed with how the ball reacts on this turf. You definitely get a true hop on every ball hit. It is the closest thing to a plush, natural grass field without all of the intensive maintenance” said head baseball coach, Raymond House. “Our newly installed TruHop turf plays just like a dirt infield. It is a fast surface with very little rubber kicked up and our girls love the shorter blades which make for a straighter and truer hop“ elaborated the head softball coach, Heath Gibson. Hermleigh ISD field construction was just completed by Carter Construction Company, a Texas builder who also installed the school’s synthetic turf football field late last year.

Over 100 were in attendance on Saturday afternoon, excited to see Hermleigh’s new TruHop fields and catch a glimpse of the eight time All-Star pitcher. “I was impressed with how many people from the community showed up to support the young athletes and celebrate Hermleigh’s new baseball and softball fields” said Shaw Sportexe Texas territory rep, Matt Stanley.

Smoltz spoke to the crowd about his partnership with Shaw Sportexe and the TruHop product and signed autographs, including a John Hancock on one of the local farmer’s beloved baby pigs. “It was an honor to be included in this event,” Smoltz said. “It was a great opportunity to see the first two TruHop field installations in the world and meet the young athletes who will play on them. It’s great to see baseball bring such spirit and enthusiasm into a community.”

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Susan Burchett
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