HiToms season on deck
Recent days have felt a little more spring-like in the Piedmont Triad, but the weather the last few weeks has taken its toll on Finch Field as final preparations are being made for the 2013 Coastal Plain League baseball season.
Below average temperatures have slowed down the growth of Bermuda grass at the historic ballpark, but President Greg Suire has been tirelessly working to spruce up the diamond.
“The field was late this season and we had a little bit of an issue with weeds popping up, but we are taking care of it,” said Suire. “It has been more time consuming without a doubt, but we will make sure the surface is one of the best in the area.”
The HiToms officially open the season May 28 at Forest City, and will hold its home opener one night later when rival Asheboro pays a visit. Contracts are expected to flow in these next few weeks, and many players should arrive in time for the Memorial Day Parade the Chair City holds each year. Suire anticipates an exciting season of summer college baseball.
“We have a great repertoire of kids coming in,” he said. “Athletically and talent-wise we are going to be pretty darn good.”
Suire is especially excited about the weekend of June 29-30. Team USA will be in town for a short series against the Tommies. It will be the first time the team has ever played in the Thomasville/High Point area.
“That is just tremendous for us to be able and host those guys,” Suire said. “These are first round guys and the team that pulls into Finch Field is going to be basically a precursor to Major League Baseball’s roster in four or five years. It should be a great show and I encourage people to come out and relish it.”
Another new addition to the summer activities is a “Farm to Field” program. On Fridays throughout the season, local farmers will feature and sell produce at games. Each week will have a theme with strawberries being the featured fruit on the first Friday.
“It will be exciting to have some of the local farmers at the park and get a sense of what they do and expose their different produce to those that might not make it to the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning,” said Suire.
Other events making a return include festivals on Sundays and the Novant Health HiTom Home Run road race.