“Campbell University is in the final stages of a major expansion to Jim Perry Stadium that will literally change all facets of the facility from just a few short years ago,” said Campbell University Athletics Director Bob Roller. The university’s 2017 baseball season is underway, and next month, the Buies Creek Astros will take to the field. The Astros are a new minor league team licensed to Fayetteville. But they will call Campbell home for the 2017 and 2018 baseball seasons while a new stadium is built in downtown Fayetteville.
The most recent contribution to Campbell’s stadium is new synthetic turf, which was donated by the Houston Astros organization. “We were already underway with a multimillion-dollar fundraising effort for the opening of the Jim and Daphne Perry Pavilion in March of this year,” said Roller. The Pavilion, which overlooks the third base line, “will have a state-of-the-art locker room, a training room, coaches’ offices and a recruiting lounge for Campbell baseball,” Roller added. “It will also add more than 300 spectator seats to increase our capacity to approximately 1,500.” The expansion also includes new dugouts, an outfield wall, a ticket window and restrooms, and the largest video scoreboard in the conference. It will be ready by April of this year. “The one area we were unable to finish was a new field turf at the stadium, and the negotiations with the Houston Astros allowed that goal to be reached with the Astros providing the majority of the funding as part of their lease agreement with Campbell,” Roller explained.
What is commonly known as AstroTurf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass. The main reason for its use is maintenance. Artificial turf stands up to heavy use and requires no irrigation or trimming. Artificial turf first gained substantial attention in the 1960s when it was used in the newly-constructed Astrodome. The specific product used was developed by Monsanto and named AstroTurf. The term has since become generic for any artificial turf and while AstroTurf remains a registered trademark, it is no longer owned by Monsanto.
Jim Perry was born in Williamston, North Carolina, and attended Campbell University until being signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1956. He is the older brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry and was a fine pitcher in his own right. Jim Perry was a three-time All-Star and won the 1970 AL Cy Young Award when he posted a record of 24-12. Jim and Gaylord Perry are the only brothers in Major League history to win Cy Young Awards. He also won 20 games in 1969 and won at least 17 games five times. His longest tenure in the majors was with the Minnesota Twins from 1963