Hitting the ground

I’ll have more about some of the exciting events and ballpark additions for the 50th Anniversary season in the coming days, but first a quick update about a change at AT&T Park:

The Giants have hired Greg Elliott as their new head groundskeeper, only the second top turf man in the ballpark’s history after Scott MacVicar’s distinguished eight-year tenure.

Field_2

Elliott comes with impressive credentials, having been the South Atlantic League Groundskeeper of the Year four times for his work with the Lake County Captains. Twice he was named Sports Turf Manager of the Year for all of Class A baseball. He’s a graduate of Michigan State University’s Sports and Commercial Turfgrass Management Program and has worked for USA Baseball and the Arizona Fall League.

Some fun facts about AT&T Park’s field:
* Spare turf is grown in the “sod farm” located directly behind the center-field wall. Scott once told me that other things, like tomato plants, have been grown in the sod farm.
* The grass is a custom Kentucky Bluegrass blend, grown especially for the Giants in the Delta.
* The Giants have never mowed any pattern into the field, per the wishes of managing general partner Peter Magowan. For the 2007 All-Star Game, a splashing-ball logo was painted into the grass and etched into the infield.
* Contrary to some fans’ concerns, offseason events like football, concerts and motorcross don’t affect the field, since the turf is entirely replaced prior to the baseball season. For concerts and other on-field events during the season, a special flooring that prevents the grass from being crushed is used.

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