Bowman Field Shines in Inaugural MLB “Little League Classic” Game
BrightView renovated, maintains Historic Bowman Field for special MLB game
More than 2,500 were in attendance at the inaugural MLB “Little League Classic” game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals Aug. 20 in Williamsport, Pa.
Bowman Field was filled with all 16 teams competing to be the Little League World Series champion and their families, along with a few hundred lucky Lycoming County residents who were able to secure tickets to the game.
In the end, it wasn’t so much the Pirates’ 6-3 win over the Cardinals that will be remembered, but rather the many moments when professionals and the Little Leaguers came together simply as baseball players.
“It will be one of the highlights of my career,” Clint Hurdle, Pirates Manager, said following the game. “I don’t know if there’s another sport that can do this the way we were able to do it today for everybody… I think it was significant. I was happy to be a part of it; humbled to be a part of it. I’m very grateful I got to experience it.”
Bowman Field is the second-oldest minor league ballpark in the country. Beginning in March, BrightView renovated the field, stripping out 1.5 feet of the original dirt and grass and laying down more than 8,000 tons of sand and root-zone material and completely re-sodding the field to bring it up to MLB specifications.
BrightView Design Group, BrightView Landscape Development, and BrightView Sports Turf all had a hand in the project, which was completed in time for the hometown Williamsport Crosscutters’ home opener June 20.
The MLB-quality field also featured new foul poles, bullpens, a batter’s eye (a dark screen beyond the centerfield wall to aid hitters in seeing the pitched ball), and a backstop net, the installation of which was overseen by BrightView, BaAM, and Populous.
“During a meeting with our leadership, we discussed this unique project and how it could serve as a true case study for future BrightView work across the country,” said Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf and MLB’s Field Consultant. “We have great teams in our company and when our designers, developers, and sports turf teams work together, the result is a field that competes with any at the highest level.”
“The event itself had great moments, but the overall BrightView teamwork on this one made the project much easier than many, even though it had some tricky scheduling during the Crosscutters season and the spring weather,” Cook said.
Players from both the Pirates and Cardinals attended Little League World Series games earlier in the day before heading to Bowman Field that evening for their own game.
BrightView put finishing touches on the field up until game time and were on hand to reset the infield between innings.
“We heard from players, coaches, MLB executives, and the MLB Players Association that the field played very well,” Cook said. “That's really all you can ask for.”
BrightView will continue to maintain the field for two years.
“Those young men that we watched play baseball over there today are our next generation and I think it’s really important for our current players to have an opportunity to engage with the Little League players,” Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Commissioner of Major League Baseball, said after the game. “We think baseball is a growth game and we think in order to grow the game, it’s really important to take our games to places where we don’t ordinarily play.”
We have great teams in our company and when our designers, developers, and sports turf teams work together, the result is a field that competes with any at the highest level.
- Murray Cook, BrightView Sports Turf President
BrightView is the largest provider of commercial landscaping services in the United States. Through its team of approximately 20,000 employees, BrightView provides services ranging from landscape maintenance and enhancements to tree care and landscape development for thousands of customers’ properties, including corporate and commercial properties, HOAs, public parks, hotels and resorts, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, educational institutions, restaurants and retail, and golf courses, among others. BrightView is the Official Field Consultant to Major League Baseball.
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