Drive Earn Sports Turf Manager of the Year, Best Playing Field Awards

Burgess honored for fifth time, field tabbed as best for sixth time

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By Greenville Drive | September 13, 2019 4:19 PM

GREENVILLE, S.C. - The South Atlantic League and president Eric Krupa announced its annual league award winners, and the Greenville Drive have been selected as the as the recipient of a pair of awards. Drive Vice President of Operations & Grounds Greg Burgess was named the Sports Turf Manager of the Year for the fifth time, while the organization received the Best Playing Field Award for the sixth time.

"We are extremely honored to be recognized by the South Atlantic League with these prestigious awards," said Craig Brown, the Drive's Owner and Team President. "The Drive organization is committed to excellence year in and year out, and receiving these awards is tangible proof of the measurable impact we are making on the Upstate community, as well as the dedication and commitment of our front office to making the Drive the premier organization in all of professional sports."

Burgess is being recognized by the South Atlantic League for the fifth time, as he previously received Sports Turf Manager of the Year in 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2008. He also received the Groundskeeper of the Year Award from the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) in 2010. Each head groundskeeper is graded in several different categories including pregame field preparation, overall playability of the surface, professionalism of the crew and more.

The playing surface at Fluor Field is being rewarded as the best in the South Atlantic League for the sixth time, as it previously was recognized in 2016, 2013, 2010, 2008 and 2007. In addition, Fluor Field was selected as the 2012 STMA Professional Baseball Field of the Year.

The Greenville Drive and its home of Fluor Field have always sought to deliver a "major league" experience for its players. Prior to the 2019 season, the playing surface was completely rebuilt, reflecting the Drive's commitment to create a top-notch experience for the players. The care and maintenance of the field has been a top priority of the Drive from inception, showcased by the countless hours of hard work put in by Burgess and assistant groundskeeper Zack Pagans to make it one of the best in all of Minor League Baseball.

 "The most important relationship that the Greenville Drive has, is with our Major League affiliate, the Boston Red Sox," said Eric Jarinko, the Drive's General Manager. "It is vital to our players' development that they have the best resources available to them when they are a member of the Drive. The playing surface at Fluor Field is such an important asset, and we are extremely proud of the attention to detail and professionalism that Greg, Zack, and the entire grounds crew team, display in making sure that we have the best playing surface not only in the South Atlantic League, but in all of Minor League Baseball."

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

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