Important Information for MiLB Executives
Why Hire an STMA member?
Sample Job Description
Developing a Realistic Budget
Investing in your Sports Turf Manager
Protecting the Environment
MiLB/STMA Sports Turf Manager of the Year Awards
Your number one asset is your baseball team. Sports turf managers help you protect that asset. A professional sports turf manager has the knowledge, skills and abilities to safeguard athletes from injury caused by unsafe playing surfaces. Sports turf managers also provide beautiful fields for the fans for a great game day experience; thus, their work directly impacts your bottom line.
Having an STMA sports turf manager brings your facility credibility and a competitive edge for field conditions. Field management is challenging -- unpredictable weather, a full schedule of games, and community events -- and can impact the quality of the playing surface. Sports turf managers are trained to manage field playing surfaces to the safest level possible.
However, STMA members' role goes well beyond field management. They are an integral member of the leadership team at your facility and should always be in discussions about events on the field. They know how to manage resources, personnel and time. Tap into this expertise. They can help you drive revenue and cut expenses. Learn about the work that your sports turf manager does. Ask questions and become conversant about this important aspect of your operations.
It is important to remember that each organization operates at various levels of profitability and commits resources toward the playing surface based on operating expenses and ownership priorities. To maintain a high quality playing surface, below is sample budget used when the playing field is a high priority in the eyes of management and ownership.
Turf Fertility- $20,000 (includes all granular and liquid fertilizers, fungicides, & other chemicals)
Baseball Supplies- $15,000 (includes all clays and conditioners for infield, mound & plate)
Equipment Maintenance- $5000 (to keep equipment maintained- mowers, carts, etc.)
Labor- $15,000 (hourly game day crew. Does not include full-time head groundskeeper or assistant).
Again, staffing is based on the organization's overall full-time/part-time philosophy, and how much money is earmarked for the grounds crew.
A working model that has been successful is as follows:
• Head Groundskeeper- full-time year round (salary w/ benefits)
• Assistant Groundskeeper- full-time year round (salary w/ benefits)
• Seasonal Assistant- full-time seasonal (salary w/ no benefits)
• Intern- full-time seasonal (turns over every season)
• Hourly Game Day- Four (4) crew members that work game days only at various intervals of game day activity.
Continuing education is core to the profession of sports field management. Technology continues to advance and sports turf managers must stay abreast of these developments.
The top resource for continuing education is the STMA Annual Conference and Exhibition. This event is held each January and provides four days of education taught by top academics, practitioners and commercial companies. Be sure to allocate budget dollars for this very important conference that is the largest event focused on this profession.
STMA offers a certification program, the Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM). This program provides excellent value to your facility. Those who attain certification validate their knowledge, skills and abilities. Not only does the program verify their turfgrass science and sports-specific knowledge, it confirms that they are businessmen and women -- that they understand the business aspects of running a sports facility.
Support your sports field manager's pursuit of certification and ensure that your sports fields are the safest and most playable for your budget allocation.
This is a general list of equipment necessary to manage a minor league baseball field:
-Triplex ride-on reel mower
-walk behind reel mower
-two (2) utility carts w/ dump bed
-boom spray unit
-walk behind aerator
-walk behind slit seeder
-walk behind rotary mowers (2)
-ride-on one-ton (+) roller
-core harvester sweeper
-pull-behind leveling box blade
-turbine blower (for moving firework debris, water, etc.)
-push carts, wheel barrows, hand tools, etc.
Protecting the environment is another element of an STMA member's job. As environmental stewards, the work that they do should be shared with your community. Consider community partnerships that focus on the environment: water conservation, composting, IPM, recycling, energy use, are all areas of significance and controlled by your sports turf manager. Creating partnerships and promoting those partnerships position your baseball facility as environmentally responsible.
STMA and Minor League baseball have teamed up to sponsor the annual MiLB/STMA Sports Turf Manager of the Year Awards. These awards are given to the top manager in Triple A, Double A, Single A and Short Season or Rookie classifications. All annual league winners are eligible to submit for this prestigious award. A panel of judges independently rates their field and business management practices and the winners are recognized during the Baseball Winter Meetings.
Gain recognition for your facility through this program. To see a list of previous winners, click here.
Baseball Safety Checklist (PDF)
Safety First: Baseball/Softball Field Assessment video (MP3)
DVDs: Mound-building & Homeplate Maintenance & Infield Maintenance (English & Spanish). Order yours here.
Join former Washington Nationals Head Groundskeeper Larry Divito (left) and Seattle Mariners Head Groundskeeper Bob Christofferson (right) in this 27 minute video as they walk you through how to correctly rebuild and maintain your facility's pitchers mound at a Major League level. Spanish version included.
If you are an STMA member, you can access the videos for free here.