Albuquerque Isotopes Director of Field Operations Casey Griffin has been named the Pacific Coast League's Sports Turf Manager of the Year, as voted by the league's 16 managers and coaching staffs.
The award encompasses the overall quality of the playing surface, as well as pregame setup, field marking, professionalism of the grounds crew, along with grading in eight other categories.
"It's an honor to be recognized by the Pacific Coast League, and it represents the efforts of our entire grounds crew this season," Griffin said. "Without the contributions of Clint Belau (Assistant Groundskeeper), Davin Sandia (Grounds Crew Intern) and our game-day staff, this recognition wouldn't be achievable. We are fortunate enough to have a dedicated staff that works tirelessly to ensure our field is in its best condition everyday."
Griffin is in his second season as Director of Field Operations, having originally joined the Isotopes organization in 2009. As a result of this accolade, he will now be nominated for Triple-A Groundskeeper of the Year as presented by the SportsTurf Managers Association (STMA).
After working four years in the golf course industry, Griffin gained interest in sports turf to follow his passion for baseball. The native of Salem, Oregon, spent time on the Class-A Short Season Eugene Emeralds' grounds crew, before pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture with an emphasis in Turf Management at Oregon State University. At OSU he tended to the athletic facilities primarily working on the baseball, softball and soccer fields. Once he completed his degree in 2008, Griffin moved to Albuquerque to join the Isotopes' staff.
"This award is richly deserved, and is a recognition of the talents and efforts of the entire grounds crew," said Isotopes General Manager John Traub. "Casey, Clint, Davin, in addition to the game-day employees, should all feel a tremendous amount of pride with this news. The field - it's aesthetics and playability - is such a big part of who we are and is a great representation of our organization."
This is just the latest award for the highly-decorated Isotopes Park grounds crew, having previously won this award in 2007 and 2008 as well as the Triple-A award in 2008, Professional Field of the Year in 2007 and 2013, Collegiate Field of the Year in 2004, multiple PCL Honorable Mentions, plus many other accolades. Following the 2013 campaign, Griffin was awarded the STMA Professional Field of the Year, given to the top playing surface in all of professional baseball.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.