(Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, B.C.) - Minor League Baseball has announced that Vancouver Canadians Head Groundskeeper Ross Baron is recipient of the Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award for the Northwest League. This is the second consecutive time the award has been given to the Vancouver Canadians, and both under Ross' leadership.
Baron, 32, graduated from the University of Guelph with an associate diploma in Turf Grass Management. During his time at Guelph, Baron was added to the Washington Nationals Internship Program where he would work out at Nationals Park (2012).
"We faced a handful of key challenges this summer and I am fortunate to work with an organization that remains committed to ensuring our players can play on a professional playing surface," states Baron.
"We also had a significant hand up on the competition working alongside A&B Tool Rentals who provided us with the machinery we needed to ensure our surface was just as strong at the end of the season as it was at the beginning."
Baron, a native of Gibsons, B.C. has transformed Scotiabank Field into one of Minor League Baseball's most talked about natural playing surfaces and started this project just two years ago when he stripped the entire infield and irrigation system and built it back from scratch. From adding a higher performing sod and proper fertilization schedule to widening the warning track and laser levelling the playing surface, Baron and his staff took historic Scotiabank Field to a level never achieved before in 2017 and carried it through this summer.
"The hours and work put in by our crew Steven Maisey and Chuck Kaisla all summer long are why we are receiving this honour today," added Baron. "There was never a moment from day one where these guys weren't ready to accept whatever challenge was put before them and I am proud to share this award with them."
The Sports Turf Managers of the Year are selected by a 15-member awards committee, compiled by the Sports Turf Managers Association. Each League is awarded a nominee, and is individually scored on cultural practices, gameday routine, resource utilization, staff management and the grounds keeper's involvement and support of the sports turf industry.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.