Grainger Stadium Named Carolina League Field of the Year

Stephen Watson earns recognition as Sports Turf Manager of the Year

Grainger Stadium is recognized as the best playing surface in the Carolina League in its first season back. (Danny Stroud/Down East Wood Ducks)

By Dominic Cotroneo / Down East Wood Ducks | September 2, 2017 10:29 AM


KINSTON, NC - Grainger Stadium's playing surface has been named the best in the league by a vote from the 10 managers in the league. With the recognition, head groundskeeper Stephen Watson is named Sports Turf Manager of the Year by the Carolina League.

Votes were tallied on 11 different categories for the quality of all apsects of the field and grounds crew. The grading was on a scale of one-to-five, with five as excellent and one as poor. Those categories were:

  • Field set-up for practice
  • Field preparation for game
  • Overall playing surface
  • Dirt areas
  • Infield turf
  • Outfield turf
  • Home plate area
  • Bullpen areas
  • Warning track
  • Pitchers mound
  • Professionalism of crew

Grainger Stadium finished in first or tied for first in 10 of the 11 categories; accumulating a score of 47.71 to earn the title. Myrtle Beach's TicketReturn.Com Field finished second with a 46.71 mark, and Carolina's Five County Stadium finished third at 44.86.

Watson's crew included assistant groundskeeper Logan Robinson, Jacob Best, Mason Hughes, Hal Oliver, Jay Pike, Gary Smith, Jonathan Spikes, Mike Ulrich, and Christian Wilson.

Thanks to this crew's tireless work, Grainger Stadium continues its reputation as the best playing surface in the league - including the Kinston Indian days, when Watson first took over as head groundskeeper in 2008.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More