Results tagged ‘ Caribbean ’

Wrapping up a Crazy 2014 & Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year!


It is very hard to believe 2014 is almost over!   So much to be thankful for from a personal and professional viewpoint.   I can honestly say that 2014 was an amazing year on a lot of levels in the baseball world.

This year I traveled more than others … logging a couple hundred days, to 13 different countries. a few hundred thousand miles.   Highlights of the 2014 year regarding sports and stuff would be:

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* MLB Sydney Opener in Australia.   What a great project working with some awesome people in Australia!

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* Japan Samurai All Star series. Working with our friends in Japan on 5 stadiums in 10 days

*   Toronto 2015 test event games in Ajax.  Planning for the games next summer at a cool sport complex where baseball and softball are side by side.

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* SportsField maintenance clinics in Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Holland.

* Cuba relations warming with the USA sounds promising.

* Kansas City royals in the World Series were exciting to watch.  Especially happy for Trevor and his crew

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* Guadalajara got a new ballpark out of a track and field venue.

* Commissioner Selig officially stepped down. What a tenure!   Rob Manfred was a great replacement choice and a guy who really likes international game development

* We heard some promising news from baseball’s international elite folks at WBSC  about the high probability of baseball and softball getting back in the Olympic games by 2020.

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* We celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.

* The company I work for Brickman merged with their arch rival valleycrest.   A new name was revealed this month. Brightview which sounds really cool.  We are better together for sure!

After close to 40 years in this industry the years seem to be going faster.   I guess that’s a good thing.  2014 was also a year of troubled times for many people and  countries.   We are a people living on one planet and it’s obvious we have a lot of work to do make it a better place for our children to live but I’m sure we will figure it out.  Just like a baseball…. it takes teamwork and prayer.

Made alot of friends this year in different countries spreading the word about the STMA..  A major thanks to our brickman crew and subs  who helped out all year.  couldn’t have done it without you!

Looking into the crystal Base-ball 2015 looks to be similar in travel and potential events.   Wishing each of you a prosperous, safe and wonderful 2015!   HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Checking out the DR Winter League Ballparks


???????????????????????????????The World Series is not the only pro baseball  going on this weekend.  Its also the start of the 2013 Caribbean Winter League Season.    We started reviewing  the pro parks in the Dominican Republic this past week.  This will be our 3rd series of winter league cub evaluations.    It was great  seeing the progress they are making on the fields.  I recall during our last set of inspections they were needing equipment and materials that was not available on the island.  After seeing just a few of the DR parks this year,  we noticed a marked improvement of the playing surfaces and the facilities.    ( Photo above is Santiago’s ballpark.)

quiesqya( Photo above in Santo Domingo) There are several reasons that I believe relate to the  continuing improvements of the facilities and fields.   MLB OPs  has been hosting field clinics every other year in the DR,  the MLB DR office has expanded and is a huge resource for the clubs as they determine ways to make there parks better.   You also have  clubs that are  devoting more time and funds towards making their parks better for fans and players.      Everyone wins!     6 years ago most of the fields were a bit rough and the ground crews were frustrated with lack of materials and overuse.   Still room for improvement but…There is a new breeze blowing and it’s going in the right direction.   Nice work by the MLB DR office and the WL.  ( La Ramona Ballpark Below)

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New Ballpark in Hermosillo Opens with the Caribe World Series


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The 2013 caribbean world series began today in Sonora mx The field is looking pretty sharp thanks to Chad Olsen and the construction team in Hermosillo. The young sea spray Paspalum Turfgrass will be under a lot of use in the next week of games.  A great event to open this new ballpark to the world. I’m just excited for the people of Sonora and their new venue. I am sure the city leaders and staff are Proud of the accomplishment. This park will set a new standard for future stadiums in Mexico and South America.

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2013 Caribbean World Series Venue looking sweet!


Hermosillo Pics 030The new Sonora stadium in Hermosillo Mexico is almost complete. Typical details remain as with most major stadium projects,  but this park is setting a standard for future venues outside of the USA.   With the help of the D-backs  relationship over the years the Naranjeros plan to fulfill a plan to build the best ballpark in Mexico.  Congrats to the team ownership and municipal government.

hermosilo jan 2013Lets just say they are making a really good run at the title of the best park in Latin America!     Congrats to Chad Olsen and our Brickman sportsturf team that have put time into the  new field development over the past several months.

Managua & Cartagena see upgrades to venues for mini-camps


As part of the planning for the upcoming WBC in Panama, the federations in Nicaragua and Colombia will be hosting mini-camps in their countries in order for their team to train before the WBC event.  Pitching mounds, infield, bullpens and equipment repairs highlighted the key areas of improvements at each ballpark.  Chad Kropff was in Colombia  and Kevin Moses  in Nicaragua for the past week helping the local crews with the renovations.  

New Ballparks in Puerto Rico


Over the past couple months i have spent some time checking up on some ballparks for the upcoming winter league in Puerto Rico.  The Winter League has a rich tradition in the PR.  In addition to the WL they have very strong  local Double A clubs supported by small communities around the country.  The development of ballparks for this league is really something.    Stadiums in Kayay ( top photo) , Yauco ( below), and Mayamon have recently been completed.  2000 to 4000 seat venues.

In addition  larger venues are undergoing improvements such as Manati ( Below), Junco and Hiram Bithorn.  

USA 4 – Cuba 3 in Opening Game of Friendly Series.


Havana –   After a crazy rain delay USA battles Cuba in the opener of the freindly series 4-3.   The teams used to play each other pretty back in the early 90’s and now they started a new set of annual games.  The Cuban players played are seasoned squad and the college level USA team did a pretty good job handling them.    A great game on a very wet night.  After an 1 1/2 rain delay we finally got the game rolling.    Heavy rains fell for an hour. No tarp was available so it was back to old school groundskeeping.  Awesome ground crew with Juan, Orlando and Elier.

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