Riverside baseball field re-named - Kanawha County, WV - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Riverside baseball field re-named in memory of student killed in crash

Posted: Updated:
The field is named for Keith Smith's brother, Eric Smith. The field is named for Keith Smith's brother, Eric Smith.
A high school baseball field in our region is getting a new name as a result of multiple tragedies that have plagued one community.

"Well I hope that they will be able to look at the leadership that Eric brought to the team and the leadership that he brought to the school," said Keith Smith of Kanawha County.

It was April of 1975.  Smith said, "My brother was a student athlete.  He was a pitcher at East Bank High School.  His brother, Eric, was driving to his baseball game at the current Riverside High School.  He wrecked his car and didn't survive the crash.

"Car accidents happen all the time up there, it's a bad section of the county so to speak," he said.  Riverside High School has lost four students in the last six months.  Smith said that statistic struck a nerve.  At Thursday's Kanawha County School Board meeting, they voted to name Riverside's baseball field in memory of Eric Smith.

 "It was something I wanted to do to memorialize his sprit and his leadership.  Really, I wanted to do it for my mother," Smith said.  A dream that is now reality, and Smith said he hopes this will be a wake up call for students everywhere.  "We're not immortal, and hopefully by making this statement and memorializing this, people will have some realization of the mortality."

Work is in progress to do some construction on the current field.  Officials said they could spend up to $50,000 on the upgrades.