(Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, B.C.) - Minor League Baseball announced today (Wednesday, September 6, 2017) that Vancouver Canadians Head Groundskeeper Ross Baron is recipient of the Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award for the Northwest League. This is the first time in franchise history the award has been given to the Vancouver Canadians.
Baron, 31, graduated from the University of Guelph with an associate diploma in Turf Grass Management. During his time at Guelph, Baron was added to the Washington Nationals Internship Program where he would work a full season out at Nationals Park (2012).
"I'm honoured to be able to work with an organization that is committed to providing our players with a professional playing surface," says Baron. "We took on a large off-season project head-on and this justifies the commitment of not only our organization but that of our partners who provided us with the tools we needed to restructure our field."
Baron's challenges were many when he took the position of head groundskeeper this past spring, but the native of Gibsons, B.C. was up for the task as he stripped the entire infield and irrigation system and built it back from scratch. From adding a higher performing sod and proper fertilization schedule to widening the warning track and laser levelling the playing surface, Baron and his staff took historic Scotiabank Field to a level never achieved before in 2017.
"The hours and work put in by my crew Winston Tukariri, Sarah Walz and Maclean White are why we are receiving this honour today," added Baron. "There was never a moment from day one where these three weren't ready to accept whatever challenge was put before them and I am proud to share this award with them."
The Sports Turf Managers of the Year are selected by a 15-member awards committee, compiled by the Sports Turf Managers Association. Each League is awarded a nominee, and is individually scored on cultural practices, gameday routine, resource utilization, staff management and the grounds keeper's involvement and support of the sports turf industry.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.