Kean University in Union, N.J., has named its new baseball field Jim Hynes '63 Stadium, after receiving a $500,000 gift from Hynes, a plastics industry veteran.
Hynes' plastics career began when he graduated in 1963 with an industrial technology degree from the school, then called Newark State College. He was hired by Union Carbide Corp. Today he owns plastics recycler Churchill Plastics in Minnetonka, Minn.
Back in the spring of 1962, Hynes played second base for the Newark State varsity team.
``I was pivoting on a double play and the runner coming into second took me out. My cleats got caught in the base and I broke my leg in two places,'' he said. That ended his baseball career, although he now plays some softball.
At Union Carbide, Hynes was assigned to Harold Holz, who was regional manager in Chicago. Holz recommended Hynes to run a one-person sales office in Minneapolis.
Over the years, Hynes has kept in touch with Holz, who now is a consultant to Marval Industries Inc. of Mamaroneck, N.Y. He invited Holz to the dedication of Jim Hynes '63 Stadium on April 13. Hynes threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Using the donation, the university moved the field to a new location, completely rebuilt the ball diamond, installed batting cages and aluminum bleachers, and erected a uniform outfield fence and traditional dugouts. The school also added 75-foot-high netting to protect adjacent homes and cars from balls hit out of play.
Hynes worked at Carbide until 1970, then left to join a Carbide resin customer, Shamrock Plastics, a housewares and packaging molder. In 1986, he started Churchill Plastics.