How it Works: Victory Field’s Lawn
2 Turf-Master Titles
Joey Stevenson, head groundskeeper for the Indianapolis Indians, has been named the league’s best sports-turf manager two years running. Can he three-peat? His season starts this month.
14 Happy International League Managers
From rock-free infields to spotless dugouts, Stevenson pursues perfection, and opposing teams and officiating crews notice. Umps say his equipment shop is so clean, they could eat off of it.
125 Mows Per Year
Stevenson or someone on his crew mows the field nearly every day during the season, keeping the Kentucky bluegrass right at 1 inch tall to ensure the ball rolls consistently on dirt and turf.
For evening games, work begins at 9 a.m. The crew mows, drags the infield dirt, waters the soil five or six times, chalks the lines, and even cleans bird droppings off of the wall pads. Then they drag the dirt twice between innings. And after the last out, they do touch-ups ’til around midnight.
Healthy grass and 82 irrigation heads made surviving last year’s drought easy. Rain is the real threat. A mere chance of rainfall means pulling out the 32,400 square-foot tarp to protect the infield—though that takes just 90 seconds.
Pristine Victory Field, hosting the Indianapolis Indians all season long.
Photo courtesy Indianapolis Indians
This article appeared in the April 2013 issue.