When the Merritt Island Mustangs take the field next Tuesday for their season opener, they will be running across Clint Hurdle Field.
The baseball field of the high school on Florida's eastern seaboard is being named in honor of one of its most illustrious graduates. Hurdle first cast the spotlight on Merritt Island as a player -- he was the Royals' No. 1 pick in the 1975 First-Year Player Draft -- but his eventual Major League career didn't warrant such a dedication.
Chapter two, as a manger, has gone to a higher level, and the reigning National League Manager of the Year will be honored during an hour-long ceremony on Friday night on the campus located about 130 miles northeast of Pirate City.
"This is really cool -- and another nice friendly reminder that you're getting older," Hurdle said.
The field dedication, at which Hurdle's former high school coach and local government officials will participate, will kick off a celebratory weekend that will include a Saturday charity golf tournament.
Hurdle is looking forward to having something other than beef named after him.
"The only thing I'm aware of being named for me before is a steak at Hyde Park restaurants," Hurdle said. "It's a big-old ribeye."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.