ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jake Tyler, Eric Blanton, Chris Ball and Joe Hill are the classification winners in the annual Sports Turf Managers of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA). Tyler, responsible for the Toledo Mud Hens' Fifth Third Field, also took home the Triple-A award last year.
Blanton's care of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats' MerchantAuto.com Stadium earned him the Double-A honors. Coastal Federal Field, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, is where Ball performed to win the Class A award. Hill displayed his talents at Avista Stadium, where the Spokane Indians play, to claim the Short-Season prize. The classification honorees, chosen from the league winners, will be honored at the Baseball Winter Meetings ™ next week at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Nashville.
The STMA provides educational opportunities and support so sports turf managers can provide the best sports surfaces for all levels of play. Sports turf managers are experts on the field and partners of the game.
Clearwater's Opie Cheek is the Florida State League's recipient for the fourth consecutive year. Greg Elliot (South Atlantic) and Paul Giles (Pioneer) are repeat winners from 2006.
2007 Sports Turf Managers of the Year
International -- Jake Tyler, Toledo Mud Hens
Pacific Coast -- Jarad Alley, Albuquerque Isotopes
Mexican -- Felix Ballesteros Elizondo, Monclova Steelers
Eastern -- Eric Blanton, New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Southern -- Bo Henley, Chattanooga Lookouts
Texas -- Brock Phipps, Springfield Cardinals
California -- Justin Clarke, Stockton Ports
Carolina -- Chris Ball, Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Florida State -- Opie Cheek, Clearwater Threshers
Midwest -- Matt McQuaid, Great Lakes Loons
South Atlantic -- Greg Elliot, Lake County Captains
New York-Penn -- Melissa Slingerland, Williamsport Crosscutters
Northwest -- Joe Hill, Spokane Indians
Appalachian -- Richard Gieselman, Danville Braves
Pioneer -- Paul Giles, Orem Owlz
Gulf Coast -- Billy Macphee, GCL Red Sox
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.