The New York-Penn League has named State College Spikes Senior Sports Turf Manager Matt Neri the 2018 NYPL Sports Turf Manager of the Year. Neri, the only sports turf manager in the history of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, is now a five-time recipient of the prestigious honor.
Neri earned the award after leading the efforts to maintain a Major League-quality playing surface at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park through the wettest summer on record in the State College area, according to the National Weather Service.
The field also served as the showcase for many of the NYPL's top prospects this summer as the host site of the 2018 New York-Penn League All-Star Game presented by the Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Neri previously won league-wide honors in 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2016. The Williamsburg, Pennsylvania native is now in the running for the Sports Turf Managers Association's Short-Season/Rookie Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award, one of four classification-wide honors bestowed each year by the STMA, Minor League Baseball, and Major League Baseball. Neri previously won the Short-Season/Rookie Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award in 2016.
"It is an honor just to be considered for this award, but to win it again is outstanding," said Neri. "Thanks to the New York-Penn League, and thanks to a great crew with the Spikes for helping to make it possible."
"We are blessed to have Matt Neri overseeing our playing field here in State College, and fortunate to have him as part of the Spikes family," said Spikes General Manager Scott Walker. "This award is a testament to the fantastic job Matt did this summer in maintaining the field's quality through an unprecedented array of difficulties."
In addition to his duties during Spikes season, Neri also oversees the sports turf operations for all Penn State University baseball games and other field activities held at the ballpark.
Neri has been involved in professional baseball sports turf management since 2002, when he began his career with the Altoona Curve of the Eastern League assisting in overseeing the sports turf operations at the then-named Blair County Ballpark. While with the Curve, Matt was part of two Eastern League Field of the Year awards. Neri currently resides in Williamsburg with his wife Christy and two children.
Fans can inquire about 2019 Season Ticket memberships and a variety of group packages and experiences for the 2019 season by calling the Spikes at (814) 272-1711.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.