BrightView Reconstructs Field Ahead of MLB's "Little League Classic"
BrightView renovated Williamsport's Bowman Field in preparation for a Major League game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. BrightView Design Group created the new field design and handed it off to BrightView’s Sports Turf and Development teams to construct and maintain.
(For the full transcript, see below.)
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BrightView reconstructs field ahead of MLB's Little League Classic
MURRAY COOK, President of BrightView Sports Turf:
As Major League Baseball's field consultants, BrightView has been working with them for several years.
We started on this project back in September of this past year. We came and looked at the field and said, "You know, maybe we can play a game here, but it's going to take some work, some renovations, and some improvements.
We went through all the different programs that we have in our company, including design and development, to help us with our design services. We got our construction guys involved, our maintenance teams, and sports turf team - all as one big, happy family to make this a turn-key project.
DENNIS WINKLER, BrightView General Superintendent Construction:
The loaders are bringing the sand into the field. We compact the field and then we lower it bit-by-bit so that we are always cutting instead of filling.
KEVIN MOSES, BrightView Account Manager:
Home plate is where your entire field is laid out from. The pitching mound is set 60 feet, 6 inches from the apex of home plate and at an elevation of 10 inches above home plate.
The mound is constructed of two materials. One is your infield mix - that is going to be your material that is your base material and what you build up with. The other is your specialty clay, or your packing clay, and it's installed to a 4-inch depth in your table and your slope.
When we evaluated the ballpark, we had to look at bringing the field up to a higher standard because the current ballpark was a minor league field, so we had to make it a Major League field.
In doing so, we had to do a full survey of the field and replace the grass, replace the sod, and replace the infield clay. Quite a few things had to go into this project.
We're starting to put down the sod. We do the infield first because we want to get it done earlier than the rest of the field to give it more time to grow in since it's the most used part of the field. The grass we have chosen through Tuckahoe Turf Farms is a four-way blend.
We are also installing new foul poles, a new batter's eye, a new backstop net - everything that will make the ballpark meet MLB requirements for hosting a Major League game.
PAT BORDERS, Williamsport Crosscutters Manager:
The atmosphere when you initially walk in gives the kids energy. It just changes the whole demeanor of practice. The ground balls are consistent and not as dangerous. I have seen over the past couple of years that you don't want to take infield practice in some of the older parks because the ground is so hard. This one right here has been a pleasure over the three days I have already been on it just hitting regular ground balls. You get very consistent, true hops and that has been efficient for the kids to practice with and not worry about getting hit in the teeth.