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.
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SFMA Field of The Year Clean Sweep
Every season, the Sports Field Managers Association (SFMA) organization, awards Field of the Year honors. For the awards, it includes not only baseball and softball fields from various levels, but also soccer and football fields as well. Within the baseball and softball communities, there is a Professional Field of the Year, a College Field of…