Baseball and softball fields named after Hodgdon custodian

The maintenance work of the baseball and softball fields at Hodgdon High School is a one man job belonging to Graydon Drake.

HODGDON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A baseball and softball team would be hard up to play a regular season without a home field. The teams at Hodgdon High School know that theirs will always be ready for game day.

Hodgdon players are able to focus on how well they play and not their fields because of Graydon Drake. The custodian started working on the baseball and softball field 21 years ago during his first year in the school system. Drawing the baselines, raking the turf, mowing the grass, and working on anything else asked of him. 

"Personally say and a lot of the boys would agree that we have one of the best fields in Aroostook County," said baseball head coach Seth Dorr. "Might be a little bit of bias there, but we're really proud of the work he puts into it."

If anyone knows what a good baseball field should look like it would be a guy who used to play on some of the best fields in North America. After high school Drake went to New Brunswick, Canada to play nine years with the country's semi-pro league. When he started his job at Hodgdon, he wanted to give the players there the same pride in their fields as he used to have with his.

"The baselines were grown in and there was just like a little cow path through there and it just didn't look like a ball field," said Drake. "They feel better playing on a field that looks half decent."

In addition to field work, Drake also hand painted all of the 4x8 advertisement signs in the outfields. To say thank you for his hard work, the teams named the fields Graydon Drake Baseball Field and Graydon Drake Softball Field. 

"We did a little ceremony and it was a pretty cool experience and he came out and threw the first pitch," said Dorr.

"You feel appreciated," said Drake. "I do my best. There's some errors and some mistakes, but that's how we learn."

There's more advertising board space left at the Graydon Drake Baseball Field and Graydon Drake Softball Field. If you'd like Drake to paint a sign for you, or your business, the space costs $100.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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