Murray State Athletics announced a welcome upgrade to the home plate area of Johnny Reagan Field, home of Racer Baseball.
In partnership with AstroTurf, the home plate circle and surrounding areas of JRF receive updates. The existing home plate, halo area and walkways will be removed and converted into a fully synthetic play area with associated “RACERS” word mark in the plate circle. AstroTurf will install the peat product in the Diamond Series.
Work on the project is underway and will soon be completed.
The majority of the funds needed to complete the project were provided by Murray State Baseball alumni.
“I have always said and really believe that we have one of the best alumni groups in the country,” said the head coach Dan Skirka. “The way they stepped up to do this project shows that. The Murray State Baseball program is important to our former players, and I want to thank them for their support of this project.”
“It was very humbling for me to connect with so many baseball alumni and supporters and learn what this program means to them,” he said. Taylor Mudd, MSU Athletics director for development. “People are very passionate about enduring the great tradition of this program and are excited about what Coach Skirka is building. I think that passion is evident when we received gifts from people across the country from Northern California to New York City. We have big plans. “for Johnny Reagan Field and our baseball program for months and years to come. We look forward to sharing these plans as part of our overall construction plan soon!”
Diamond Series peat combines decades of research and experience with the latest technological innovations in a field that mimics the feel of a natural surface. The artificial grass is specially designed to recreate the ball bounce and feet of natural grass while the specialized grass area provides the same traction and sliding distance as on clay. All in all, the Diamond Series system delivers advanced performance to a traditional surface, but with less maintenance, better durability and better drainage.
“We are very excited about this partnership with AstroTurf and the improvement of JRF,” he said Brock Rydecki, MSU Assistant AD for Operations. “This project will provide playability and aesthetic improvements for our baseball program, and our student athletes will greatly benefit from the consistency of this playing surface.”
“AstroTurf is pleased to help with the Johnny Reagan field upgrades,” Garrett Bare, AstroTurf Regional Sales Manager “One of the biggest benefits of the Diamond Series ERA Turf System is that it creates a smooth surface regardless of weather conditions.” RACERS “word mark is going to be a great look and MSU players and fans will love it. We are proud to welcome Murray State Baseball to the AstroTurf family!”
About Johnny Reagan Field
JRF is named in honor of coach Johnny Reagan, who supervised the Thoroughbreds’ baseball program for 36 years from 1958 to 1993. He collected 776 victories and 11 Ohio Valley Conference championships and nine OVC Coach of the Year awards. He served as Murray State Director of Athletics from 1978-1987 and was chairman of the NCAA Baseball Committee from 1978-1986. As a baseball and basketball dueling athlete in the late 1940s, Reagan was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame in 1971 and the OVC Hall of Fame in 1988. The current location of JRF on the north side of Murray State University campus is the second site of the field. . The original site was on Chestnut Street, where the MSU Collins Center for Industry & Technology now stands. The first Murray State game to be played at the new Reagan Field was on March 11, 1989, when Racers played Eastern Illinois. On March 30, 1989, the field was the site of Reagan’s 700th career coaching victory, in a game against the Lincoln Memorial. The field was dedicated on April 15, 1989. Johnny Reagan’s # 36 was placed on the left field wall on April 12, 2019 before a double header against Southeast Missouri. Coach Reagan passed away on December 14, 2018.
For athletes and sports enthusiasts, AstroTurf® has redefined the way the game is played. The brand offers advanced, modern, multisport and specialized synthetic peat systems with proprietary technologies. An increasing number of high schools, colleges, professional sports teams and municipalities continue to choose AstroTurf-branded products for their first-class quality, technical superiority and safety. To learn more, visit AstroTurf’s website at www.astroturf.com.