The 2012 season featured a variety of unique challenges to Stevenson and his crew. After the replacement of the infield sod in the fall, Victory Field hosted the DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl as part of Super Bowl Week, resulting in the need to replace the outfield sod in March.
"It's very much an honor to win this award two consecutive years," said Stevenson. "This is an award as a sports turf manager you want to win because it's voted on by the coaches who actually visit the field, and base their vote on field conditions and overall appearance of the entire grounds and crew. With overcoming the Super Bowl events and improving on our field from the previous year, this award just shows the dedication the Indians organization has on the quality of our playing surface."
A graduate of Purdue University, Stevenson earlier this season joined current Philadelphia Phillies groundskeeper Mike Boekholder as the Indians only two-time winners of the International League Sports Turf Manager of the Year. Boekholder took home the award in four consecutive seasons for the Tribe from 1999 to 2002.
"Joey Stevenson provided a tremendous example of how challenges can be overcome when they are approached in an assertive style with good communication," stated Indians vice-president and general manager, Cal Burleson. "Joey handled the on-field aspect of our Super Bowl experience in a positive and thoughtful way. He directed the installation of new sod for the infield last fall and then installed new outfield sod in March. Our field played extremely well all summer, holding up in excellent fashion despite last year's heat wave. Joey is most deserving of this award, which recognizes him as the top groundskeeper in all of Triple-A Baseball."
Stevenson will be presented with his second straight Triple-A Sports Manager of the Year Award at the 2012 Baseball Winter Meetings, which are set to take place Dec. 3-6 in Nashville, Tenn.