It’s about baseball, for sure. But it’s really about a different kind of home run than rounding bases on a diamond.
Take a ride around Early with Vann Stanford, the “S” of R&S Industries, and you get a clue of how much more.
First stop is the Early Longhorns’ baseball field where an all-new, purple cinder block dugout suddenly seems to have appeared.
“This was a couple of benches along a chain-link fence before,” said Stanford. “This is a lot more secure, there’s storage for equipment in one end and it sort of separates players from fans. With just a see-through fence, the guys were getting a lot of distractions.”
Adding to the decor are metal laser-cut letters spelling out “Longhorn Baseball” and bats crisscrossed behind a helmet. Those are, not coincidentally, products produced by R&S. The other dugout decoration, longhorn silhouettes against an Early “E”, are decals applied to metal sheets.
But the entire dugout — materials, construction, decorations and design — are a donation from R&S Industries to the Early Independent School District.
Next stop, are the youth baseball fields, where an “old beat down lot” has been transformed to a field for the 13-, 14- and 15-year-olds, who hadn’t had a field to play on.
“This was a joint project with the City of Early, R&S Industries and the Early Baseball League,” Stanford said. “We’ve got a few more projects in the works, but we’ve made some real improvements. We’ve put in and improved some of the T-Ball fields. Bottom line, I guess, we’ve put in lots of work and lots of money’s been spent to do this for the kids.”
R&S Industries is the largest industry in Early, and Stanford said it’s important, he thinks to “give back.”
“Our products are distributed around the world, and not known so much in Early, maybe, but we want to be part of the community. We encourage our employees to be involved. Baseball’s near and dear to my own heart, and I’m glad we can contribute like we have.”