The Central Missouri baseball team will see Tompkins Field at Crane Stadium get a major upgrade thanks to a gift from UCM alumn and Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.
UCM and Crane announced this week that the facility will have new synthetic turf, which UCM hopes will make the field playable even after bad weather and will reduce the amount of maintenance needed.
Crane committed the gift while visiting campus during the ALDS between the Astros and Royals.
The AstroTurf is expected to be completely installed in time for UCM’s 2016 home opener.
What was once called Mules Field opened in 1976 with an upgrade in 1998 thanks in large part to a donation from Crane. Locker rooms, coaches offices, an umpire’s dressing room, new dugouts, concession stands, a press box and lights were added in that renovation with another upgrade six years later bringing in an indoor batting cage and a weight room.