Results tagged ‘ Yankees ’

Checking out Korea’s Baseball Stadiums


korea domed stadiumLast week  I was a guest of the KBO (Korean baseball organization).   In an effort to upgrade their parks now and in the future we visited each stadium and spoke with operators and care takers collecting information about their facilities.   Korea is in the process of renovating and building new parks as the KBO league expands.   All of the ballparks range in size from 10,000 to 28000 capacity.  All of the fields are Kentucky bluegrass or synthetic grass.  A couple stadiums are moving away from synthetic back to natural grass.

jamsil stadium korea olympicsOne of the older stadiums was called Jamsil ballpark.   The ballpark was used as part of the 1988 Olympics.  According to the locals, the two teams that play here are considered the Yankees – red sox of Korea.  I must have heard it 10 times and from the looks of the sellout game I attended, it sure felt like it.  You can draw a line through the center of the stadium between the fans cheering on the bears or the twins.   One of our tasks was to check the lights  and at Jamsil stadium and we were allowed  to perform the light check during the 5th inning.   As with most Asian leagues, after the 5th inning they re-line the field and the umpires take a several minute break.  The players actually go out in the outfield and  stretch again.  That was the first time checking lux levels in front of 27000 people.

mokdong stadium bonsai garden batters eyeFYI – This country is passionate about their baseball.   We had the chance to attend a few games and it was electrifying!  The other thing that struck me was the demographics of who attended the games.  I would estimate, more than half the crowd was between the ages of 18-30.  There was a party in the stands that was choreographed with songs for each player.   The songs played straight through the entire at bat of the home team or visiting team.     Even when the hitter was swinging away!   Something you don’t see in other countries.

Korea’s first domed stadium is underway (top photo) .  Considering the temperatures in March are similar to Detroit , the warm building will be enjoyed by the local communities in the winter time.    It will also make the  fans happy during those hot humid summers with AC.

jamsil stadium crowdThe best part of the Korean ballpark tour was meeting the people and making friends .   A big thanks to the KBO team especially Joey, Sean, Jason and Mr. Haun!  You guys rock!    Sports brings people together and just like baseball in any country our game is a common connector.   Looking forward to the next trip already!

The Baseball Field


 

What makes a baseball field so beautiful is in the eyes of the beholder but how it becomes that lush field of  manicured grass is all about the sportsturf manager and his staff.  (For those old-timers groundskeepers are now called sports turf managers.)   Baseball fields haven’t changed drastically since the 1840s back when the sport was known as knickerbockers. The bases were measured at 90ft then and they remain that distance today. The mound however has changed quite a bit.  In the last 20 years,  field playing surfaces for all levels have improved tremendously, Standards have increased and the need for safety was stressed.  even with all of the new fancy equipment and field protection materials there is still one part of the field that remains a true art.  Managing the clays. The infield mound and homeplate.  To hard or to soft.  It’s all about moisture and how your field takes the water during certain times of the year.  Mother nature has a calendar but she will sometimes tweak it a bit and throw everyone a curve like the Yankees practicing in a snow fall a couple of days ago.    The turf managers in the north had a pretty rough winter and  those fields are green and ready.  I’ve blogged a bit about  lot of How to grow your fields etc… but each spring seeing our fields go green after harsh winters is really amazing.  The amount of hours and time spent on maintaining these fields is immense.

With the 2011 Baseball season officially underway we need to say thanks to  our Spring training site ground crews  for getting the guys ready for the season and the job our MLB and Minor League clubs are preparing to begin. Have a great season!

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