COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Atlantic League honored Spirit Communications Park with its annual Best Playing Field Award. The 2016 Ballpark Digest Ballpark of the Year was rated by field managers and umpires as the league's most outstanding playing surface.
The Fireflies' Head Groundskeeper during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Danny Losito, was also named the 2018 South Atlantic League Sports Turf Manager of the Year.
"It's truly and honor to have our ballpark and our grounds crew receive this recognition from the South Atlantic League," said Fireflies Team President John Katz. "I'm extremely proud of Danny's hard work and dedication to make this field the best for every player in the league. Danny is a consummate professional and his commitment to creating a top-notch playing surface was evident from the moment he joined our staff."
Losito was Columbia's Head Groundskeeper from December of 2016 to August of 2018. The North Carolina native and North Carolina State University alumnus - who is now the First Assistant Sports Turf Manager at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum - had previously worked as the Assistant Head Groundskeeper for the Reno Aces (the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Reno, Nevada). Losito also spent time working with the San Diego Padres, the Washington Nationals and at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, North Carolina.
"I speak for every member of my crew from the past two seasons in Columbia when I say how thankful we are of this award," Losito said. "We wanted this award. We were very fortunate to have been supplied the resources we needed to do our job to the best of our ability. My assistants, and crew, really bought into doing the little things and going above and beyond every day and I would like to thank them for every hour of hard work. We're honored to be recognized by the people who see and play on our field every day."
Losito's grounds crew included long-time Assistant Groundskeeper Dalton Workman, along with 2018 staff Brent Lester and Grant Roth.
"Danny led the charge to oversee the transition of our field to year-round Bermuda grass, which was no small endeavor," added Katz. "Our field looked as good in August as it did on Opening Day."
The Fireflies open the 2019 season at Spirit Communications Park on Thursday, April 4, 2019 against the Charleston RiverDogs.
About the Columbia Fireflies
The Columbia Fireflies are the South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Mets. Winners of Ballpark Digest's Best New Branding and Logo Award in 2016, the Fireflies play games across the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, including against in-state rivals in Charleston and Greenville. The team partnered with the city of Columbia and Hughes Development to construct Spirit Communications Park, a multi-use outdoor sports and entertainment venue at the center of the BullStreet District. The Columbia Fireflies are owned by Hardball Capital, owners of the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League and the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. For more information, visit ColumbiaFireflies.com, or follow the Fireflies on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Spirit Communications Park
Spirit Communications Park, the winner of the South Atlantic League's Best Playing Field Award and 2016 Ballpark Digest Ballpark of the Year, is a 365-day per year multi-use sports and entertainment venue located in the heart of downtown Columbia, SC. Spirit Communications Park is the home ballpark for the Columbia Fireflies, the South Atlantic League affiliate of the New York Mets. Designed for baseball, concerts, football, soccer and a host of other activities, the venue seats approximately 9,000 for sporting events and up to 15,000 for major outdoor concerts. With 16 luxury suites and a 7,000 square-foot Club Level Lounge, Spirit Communications Park can also host everything from business meetings to wedding receptions, and everything in between. The venue is open 365 days a year and serves as a public park with the wrap-around concourse representing 1/3 of a mile for walkers and joggers. For more information, visit SpiritCommunicationsPark.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.