January is often a month where a lot is going on behind the scenes in the baseball and softball world. In professional baseball, it’s often tied to free agency. In college, winter workouts and scrimmages. In high school and little league, tryouts and workouts as well. Also, many field managers are either preparing their fields for play or starting to think about what projects will need to be finished before long. It’s a time for trade shows, like the SFMA Conference, among other local and regional clinics too. Although it isn’t always a big month for playing the game, it is no less important. Behind the scenes, we are fielding phone calls, visiting fields and our Homefield Crews are hard at work renovating ballfields in the warmer reaches of the United States as crunch time is here for places like Florida, with players soon arriving for Spring Training. We’re going to dive in with updates on some of the projects our Homefield Crews and friends have been up to.
Month: January 2023
2023 MiLB Symposium Recap and History
In the fall of 2015, Tom Burns and Luke Yoder began discussions with a small group of seasoned MiLB groundskeepers to gauge their interest in an annual Symposium that would provide them the opportunity to gather as a group. Tom attended the first MLB Symposium in the year 2000 and every one after that until the year 2006, when he was with the Texas Rangers. Luke attended his first MLB Symposium in 2001 representing the Pittsburgh Pirates and every one after that through 2015, ending while he was with the Padres. Tom and Paul Zwaska (formerly with the Orioles) helped coordinate that first Symposium. Luke eventually took the lead and coordinated successive ones for several years following Bob Christofferson’s (retired from Seattle Mariners) lead and then passing it onto Bill Deacon (New York Mets). Attending those meetings provided valuable insights on many aspects of professional development and groundskeeping. It also provided the opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and develop new ones that would last a lifetime.