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Hinojosa wins second Turf award
Twice 'Izz' nice as Astros' chief gets nod in consecutive years
10/19/2009 1:13 PM ET
The Greeneville Astros, Rookie-level affiliate of the Houston Astros, are pleased to announce that Israel Hinojosa III has been named the 2009 Appalachian League Sports Turf Manager of the Year. This award is selected by all of the field managers and coaching staffs of each team in the league and the Appalachian League umpires. It is the second time in as many years that Hinojosa has won the award and the fourth time overall that Greeneville has taken the honor.

Hinojosa, who was hired by Southern Athletic Fields to be the year-round groundskeeper at Pioneer Park, came to Greeneville in May 2008 with an excellent reputation. He is well respected and previously spent time working on the grounds crew for the Houston Astros. Late hours and early mornings throughout the year are commonplace as he works tirelessly to prepare the field for the Astros season.

"This award is well deserved for a second consecutive season for a group, led by Izzy, that is extremely hard working and dedicated in their profession. A big thanks goes out to the entire grounds crew for all the hard work and effort they give to Pioneer Park," said Astros general manager, David Lane.

Israel's hard work and professionalism with not only the field itself, but also the staff, is second to none. It is easy for the general manager and the rest of the front office to communicate with him on a regular basis, which was a vital part of the Astros not losing a single game due to rain in 2009. He and his crew always found a way to get the best possible playability out of the field.

League president, Lee Landers, compliments the field managers, pitching coaches and umpires for their cooperation and diligence in conducting the survey and congratulates the winning sports turf crew and all the sports turf crews in the Appalachian League for their hard work, dedication and professionalism in providing excellent playing conditions for the players and coaches.

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