The STMA Field of the Year program was created in 1992 and honors five field types: baseball, football, soccer, softball and sporting grounds. For each field type, a field at the professional, university and school/park level is awarded.
Each field entered in the program is judged independently by 11 panel members. The judges score each field based on its playability and appearance of the playing surface, innovative solutions employed to address challenges brought about by the weather and other factors, the effective expenditure of monies and the development of a sound agronomic program.
Fluor Field at the West End was selected as the winner of this year's prestigious award from over 225 professional baseball fields.
Greenville Drive General Manager Mike de Maine stated, "We could not be happier for our head groundskeeper, Greg Burgess, his assistant, Ross Groenevelt and the balance of our grounds keeping crew. Greg and his team do not have any control over the weather and other circumstances that impact our field but they always control how they respond to those circumstances, and they always respond as consummate professionals. The Drive organization is very proud that the STMA has chosen to recognize what we already knew: that Greg and his crew are among the best in the business."
"The Field of the Year Award validates the intense dedication of our members," said Kim Heck, CEO of the STMA. "The challenges that Greg and his crew face and the innovative solutions they employ are truly amazing and award worthy. They are very deserving of this prestigious award for Fluor Field at the West End."
Red Sox Director of Player Development, Ben Crockett, added, "The exceptional playing surface at Fluor Field really helps prepare our players to compete at the highest levels. Having a great surface allows players to focus on fundamentals without worrying about the consistency of their footing or a bad hop and also helps keep them healthy." Burgess will be attending the STMA Awards Banquet in Daytona Beach, Florida to receive the award on January 18th. In addition to the award, the Greenville Drive will receive complimentary registrations to the 2013 STMA Conference and Exhibition and also will be featured in SportsTurf Magazine.
"I couldn't be happier for my crew, and we are honored to receive this award," said Burgess. "Our job is to ensure that the playing surface at Fluor Field is top-notch every night, so to receive such recognition for our work is personally very satisfying and also exciting."
"This award is a symbol of the great lengths that Greg, Ross, and our crew go to ensure that Fluor Field is in immaculate shape," said Greenville Drive President and Co-Owner Craig Brown. "Receiving the Freitas Award for the top Single A organization at last week's Winter Meetings and now this prestigious award from the STMA in the same offseason is an unbelievable combination of recognition for our organization. We are extremely proud of Greg and it is wonderful to see the hard work put in by so many being recognized as it has been by these two prestigious awards."