COOPERSTOWN, New York - The man who helped develop Shaw Sports Turf’s TruHop baseball system was named, today, to 2015 class of players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
John Smoltz, who was a Major League Baseball pitcher for 21 seasons, is best remembered as part of the Atlanta Braves pitching triumvirate which also included Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
Smoltz won 215 games in his storied career, was an eight-time All-Star, won the NL Cy Young award in 1996, and helped guide the Braves to a World Series championship in 2005.
Smoltz underwent Tommy John surgery prior to the 2000 season and missed the entire year. Upon returning, he moved to the bullpen and became an effective closer, setting what was the National League saves record (55) in 2002. As a result of his 2002 performance, Smoltz became only the second pitcher in history to have had a 20-win season and a 50-save season.
Smoltz is the only pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to have over 200 wins and 150 saves. In 2008, Smoltz became the 16th member of baseball’s elusive 3,000 strikeout club.
Smoltz worked closely with Shaw Sorts Turf’s Research & Development team to design a baseball system that provided the closest thing to natural grass. Its revolutionary design mirrors the real thing in terms of playability and performance, yet provides durability that natural grass just can’t rival. Also, the system can be engineered with various pile heights and infill ratios to fit each performance area of the field.
“Through the combination of player feedback and new technology, Shaw Sports Turf has designed a product that simulates the performance of natural grass,” said Smoltz. “You get a true ball bounce and ball roll that the player can trust. Best of all, it’s incredibly durable and you can get more play time. I’ve seen it firsthand and I believe this will take baseball to the next level.”
More and more teams are making the move to the Smoltz-designed TruHop system. In the past eight months, hundreds of players and coaches have been exposed to TruHop fields at LakePoint Sporting Community, the world’s largest tournament sports destination.
When the first four TruHop fields opened on June 5, 2015, the complex hosted 55 consecutive days of tournament play. The four TruHop fields hosted 1,380 games during that period. Players raved that it was the best surface they had ever played on and, even after that many games, still looked like new.
“We are proud of our relationship with John Smoltz and the product innovation that resulted from that relationship,” said Phil Barlow, Vice President of Specialty Markets for Shaw Industries. “We are also very proud and excited for John and his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving player.”
The 2015 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame will be inducted on Sunday, July 26, at 1:30 p.m. in Cooperstown, N.Y. In addition to Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Craig Biggio were elected with this year’s class.