FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Midwest League announced Thursday that TinCaps Head Groundskeeper Keith Winter along with Assistant Groundskeeper Ryan Lehrman has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Midwest League Sports Turf Manager/Grounds Crew of the Year Award.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Parkview Field has been recognized for providing a first-rate playing surface. No one else has ever won the award more than four years in a row.
The TinCaps' grounds crew this year also includes Jake Sperry, Bob Michel, Josh Rode, Parker Crosby, and Tristan Sprunger.
"Given the great quality of the fields in the Midwest League and the professionals who take care of them, for Fort Wayne to win this award six years in a row is truly remarkable," said Midwest League President Dick Nussbaum.
The Midwest League Field Managers and Umpires selected the award winner based on quality of playing surface, infield and outfield turf, preparation of the field, quality of pitching mounds, home plate, bullpens and warning track and crew professionalism. This award is presented by Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball.
"To win six in a row, that's pretty good," Winter said. "This year it's especially gratifying to do it with a new Assistant Groundskeeper and three other new members to the crew. Just like with any successful team, we've created a winning culture here built on hard work."
In addition to training new members, the 2015 TinCaps Grounds Crew also had to overcome the rainiest summer in Fort Wayne's history with more than 20 inches of rain falling in June, July, and August.
On top of that, during the course of the TinCaps' season, Parkview Field hosted 12 Parkview Sports Medicine High School Baseball Series games, as well as a Dierks Bentley concert and other special events.
"The TinCaps are very fortunate to have Keith, Ryan, Jake, and the rest of this amazing crew in Fort Wayne," TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. "We know there are lots of other great facilities around the Midwest League, so we appreciate the recognition from the managers and umpires around the league."
In 2013 and 2014, Winter won the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award for the Single-A classification in Minor League Baseball.