(Reading, Pa.)---Dan Douglas of the Reading Fightin Phils was named the Sports Turf Manager of the Year in Double-A in the annual Sports Turf Manager of the Year Awards on Monday. The award is sponsored by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA).
Douglas will accept the award alongside three other classification winners at the Baseball Winter Meetings Awards Luncheon at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. on Monday, Dec. 3.
Douglas, who won the award previously in 2009 for his maintenance and care of FirstEnergy Stadium, has been with the Fightin Phils for the past 22 seasons as Head Groundskeeper. A graduate of Penn State in Agronomy, Douglas has also won the Eastern League Diamond Pro Sports Field Manager of the Year five times in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2009, and most recently, 2012.
In 2001, Douglas was the recipient of the Harry C. Gill Award from the Sports Turf Managers Association, which is the organization's highest honor.
"This award confirms the dedication and resilience of the grounds crew," said Douglas in acceptance of the award. "I'm proud of the way the crew fought through challenging weather conditions and unique extra events to consistently provide a quality playing surface."
In accepting the award, Douglas also would like to recognize his field staff of Jason Boone, Dan Carl, Jeff Cuthbertson, Michael Gurcsik, Jake Leadbetter, Edward Harbaugh, Jonathan Raymond, Jeffrey Reigner, Todd Reinert, and Raymond Werts.
Joining Douglas as a two-time classification winner is Opie Cheek of fellow Philadelphia Phillies affiliate the Clearwater Threshers. Cheek has received the Florida State League honor each year since 2004 when Bright House Field opened. He was the Class A winner in 2009.
The STMA provide educational opportunities and support so that sports turf managers can provide the best sports surfaces for all levels of play. Sports turf managers are experts on the field and partners of the game.