Results tagged ‘ STMA ’

Happy 10th Blogaversary MLBlogs!


athens 2004 1WOW…. it’s been 10 years ago TODAY that I began to scribble this blog for MLB.com.   I remember Mark Newman asked me if I wouldn’t mind posting to MLB’s  new blog website something about groundskeeping ,ballparks etc….   I said sure… what’s a post?    Then he told me to name the blog something and that he needed me to “post” something as soon as possible and that he would set up the name for my blog.  I had no idea what I was doing so I “posted” the above photo having recently returned from the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Next thing I know, I had a blog with my name on it beside one with Alyssa Milano and Tommy Lasorda.  That was pretty good company.     A lot has changed in 10 years.  The world of social media, groundskeeping/sportsturf management and life in general has been a wild ride since 2005.   Our company merged and now we will be  Brightview,  our kids have graduated high school (and college), the WBC was created,  managed multiple MLB Season Openers and exhibition games, twitter craze, Instagram, vine, stumble, etc….

Olympic Games are Underway...Rain an all!Loved this photo of Mark and I in Beijing…might have started the selfie craze!!

 So 357 blog posts later, thousands of shares, hundreds of thousands of views, comments, visitors, tags, etc…. I can honestly say thanks to Mark Newman the creator of MLB’s blogosphere for asking me to blog about the best job in the world.    I’ve made a ton of friends along the way through this blog and received a lot of nice notes about the field tips I’ve posted.   It’s all about learning which I continue to do daily through interactions with my peers in the sportsturf industry.  I love to teach and share information about building and managing safe fields.   It’s a great industry if you ever want a career change.  Join the STMA and check it out!

Anyway Happy 10th anniversary Mlblogs!   Looking forward to another 10.

KBO Hosts First Baseball Field Maintenance Clinic in Seoul


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Late last week the Korean Baseball Organization ( KBO) hosted the inaugural Baseball Field Maintenance Clinic at Jamsil Stadium.  The educational event was attended by ballpark operations and sportsturf managers from all the 9 Professional KBO clubs.    We covered a lot of ground in one day including mound and homeplate care, turf management and light repairs, but the best part was the interaction between each of the attendees.     One fun topic was sharing info about the STMA and how the organization brings people together to learn about ways to make their fields safer.  We even used our Korean slides Kim Heck put together!

korea liner

I really enjoyed watching the guys put the lines down at Jamsil with a very unique chalk marking system  Using a metal tube filled with chalk, one person would rake the tube over rails in the template which gently dropped the chalk in a nice line.  Pretty cool!

This group  had never been together in one room so when we went outside they began to exchange info and share stories about each others fields..or at least that is what my interpreter told me.    I would like to thank the KBO for hosting this wonderful event.

MLBUYA 2013 field maintenance clinic, Compton CA.


imageCouldn’t  have asked for a better day for our final field clinic In Compton.   The weather was great and the turnout was also wonderful.   This year was our 3rd clinic in Compton since the first academy opened In 2006. Ironically out of the 70 attendees only a handful  raised there hands when I asked if they attended Previous  clinics.   we focused our talks on fall renovations and general maintenance.   It was great having Luke Yoder from the padres help out as well as Rene Garcia from the dodgers.   Also had chad Olsen handling a few talks.     We had Covermaster and diamond pro sponsor the clinics for this year.   A big thanks to each of them. There donation covered meals and expenses for the free event.   Also a big thanks to the local stma chapter for sharing resources to the group.

Next year looks like another busy clinic year And The academies keep growing.

1st Field Clinic in Cuba Builds Relationships


As part of the USACuba Friendly Game Series this week,  we held the 1st MLB Field Clinic in Havana this week.  The Cuban Baseball Federation invited us to lecture on baseball field maintenance at Estadio Latino Americano.  All 16 pro clubs from the country had representation at the clinic.  What these guys have to work with would amaze many of you.  Picture yourself having only a residential riding mower, 4 rakes, 4 shovels, no tarp, no clay, no soil conditioner, weed control, ant control, etc…. to prepare for an international tournament in front of thousands of people.    These guys do this everyday.  I just love the passion the people in Cuba exhibit for the game of baseball.  That passion was also  evident in the groundskeepers that care for the fields.   I have had the privilege of traveling to this country several times.

It was the first time all these guys were together and you would have thought they had known each other forever.  We did a slide show to talk about materials and maintenance processes then went to the field for hands on training. Typically hands-on means most are watching but this event had all of the guys heavily involved.  They really enjoyed the Sports Turf Management slides ( WWW.STMA.ORG ) as they were translated in Spanish.   Such a great exchange between friends in sportsturf.  Hearing stories about their fields and issues was no different than sitting in a room with my peers in the states.

They have created a pretty good clay for the island.  Drains well and is designed to wick water past a certain point.  Then it will firm up.  On opening night of the series, we had an inch of rain and puddles of water all over the infield.  With no big tarp to cover the field and we still played in under two hours.

Fun stuff.   Thanks to Ellier, Chad, Juan and the entire Latino Americano grounds crew for their  help.

Paying it forward


Big week for the Sports Turf  Managers Association   (STMA) Our conference starts this week in long beach ca.  This will be my 25th year attending the conferences.  Quiet a bit has  changed and for the better.  Great leadership and our industry staying true north with a vision to educate and share information about making sports fields safer and playable around the world has allowed our numbers to grow.  When I started to become really involved with the association was in 1991,   I think we had about 100 people show up at the conference in Vero beach.  Now its in the thousands.

I have always enjoyed teaching and sharing what I have learned over the years in baseball.  I recall sharing stories of my own turf problems and field issues with so many that its difficult to remember the number of times others shared their insight to make a project better or a field safer that i was involved with.  It’s all about paying it forward.  The expression “pay it forward” is used to describe the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others instead.  This conference is all about sharing ideas and learning new ones from others.

This past year we did several sports turf clinics around the world and this year we have a bit larger docket of clinics in the works.  I believe we are up to 6 on paper.   Dont want to let the cat out of the bag but they are all international.  Its going to be a fun year with the MLB Opener in Japan, the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers and several new ballparks developing outside the USA.  Looking forward to sharing those experiences and many others with everyone this year.

Hoping everyone has a great and prosperous new year.

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