Fort Wayne, IN - TinCaps Head Groundskeeper Keith Winter and Assistant Groundskeeper Andrew Burnette have been selected as the recipients of the 2013 Midwest League Sports Turf Manager/Grounds Crew of the Year Award. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Parkview Field's playing surface has been named best in the 16-team league.
The Midwest League Field Managers and Umpires selected the award winner based on quality of playing surface, infield/outfield turf, preparation of field, quality of pitching mounds, home plate, bullpens, warning track, and crew professionalism. This award is presented by both Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball.
"This honor is a credit to knowledge, hard work, and resources," said Winter, who joined the TinCaps in 2010. "When those three things line up, you have a successful grounds crew. But we're really just an extension of the overall success of the entire TinCaps organization."
In addition to Winter and Burnette, the TinCaps Grounds Crew includes Trevor Oetting, Corbin Oetting, Aaron Johnson, Bob Michel, and Josh Stork.
After being honored by the Midwest League for having the best field in the league in 2010, 2011, and 2012, the TinCaps invested in a new bluegrass surface that was installed last fall to further improve Parkview Field's quality.
"We're extremely proud of Keith, Andrew, and the entire TinCaps Grounds Crew for making Parkview Field's playing surface Major League caliber," TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. "This is an award we also share with the San Diego Padres, the city of Fort Wayne, and our great fans."
The TinCaps Grounds Crew is now one of four finalists for the Sports Turf Managers Association's Single-A Field of the Year Award, which will be presented during the Baseball Winter Meetings Annual Awards Luncheon in Orlando in December.
The award-winning Parkview Field will host playoff baseball for the fifth consecutive year on Thursday night, when the TinCaps take on the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 7:05 p.m. in Game 2 of their first round series. Fort Wayne holds a 1-0 lead in the series after a 6-1 win Wednesday.