Dreams Become Real At Maine-Endwell
Dreams came true today at Maine-Endwell High School with the dedication and official opening of Gary Crooks Stadium. The artificial turf stadium was built with a gift from M-E grad Thomas Tull and his wife Alba and the Tull Family Foundation.
Thomas Tull played football and baseball at M-E and graduated in 1988. He has had meteoric success in the motion picture industry and is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Legendary Entertainment as well as part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and board member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Tull was so influenced and impressed with his coaches at M-E, particularly baseball coach Gary Crooks, that he funded the project which includes lights for the football stadium. The overall gift amounted to $2.2 milllion. Tull chose to name the new stadium in honor of Coach Crooks.
Also on hand for the opening day ceremonies were Hall of Famers Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Rich "Goose" Gossage. The President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Jeff Ideslon also was part of the ceremonies. He addressed an auditorium filled with personnel from Maine-Endwell, M-E baseball and softball players, and other baseball teams from the Southern Tier Athletic Conference.
Following the ribbon cutting and the official first pitch from Alba Tull, Vestal and Maine-Endwell took the field for a scrimmage. All players who took part in the game received baseball bats commemorating the stadium opening courtesy of Thomas Tull.