Going Green — Miller Park Field Is Ready for Opening Day
When I first saw the field at Miller Park after getting back from Spring Training, I thought I was looking at a field from Arizona! The field at Miller Park looks great and is more than ready for Opening Day on Friday. I can remember an Opening Day at Miller Park (I believe it was 2005) where giant propane heaters were on the field thawing out the frozen infield. That certainly won’t be the case on Friday.
Today, led by the new Brewers Director of Grounds, Justin Scott, the “Opening Weekend” logo was painted on the beautiful green Miller Park grass.
Scott talked about the mild winter and how that affected the field this afternoon with local media.
“The actual challenge of the mild winter was that the cover kept the field warmer all winter and the turf never went as dormant as we probably would have liked it to,” Scott said. “Just like people, turf needs some time off to rest and that is what winter normally provides. We were partially dormant this winter and didn’t get the rest we needed, but certainly got the growth we needed. We have been exceptionally fortunate with the weather that Mother Nature has provided us.”
Scott will have a learning curve coming from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City–an open-air stadium–to Miller Park in Milwaukee.
“This being my first year, it is kind of like moving into a new house,” Scott said. “There are always nooks and crannies that you learn. I’m learning the shade pattern, what it needs with water. My assistant, Michael Boettcher, and the crew, having been here before me, have been an invaluable resource and did a great job of putting things to bed in the fall.
Everyone will miss former Brewers Director of Grounds, Gary Vanden Berg who passed away last October. Scott knows Vanden Berg is irreplaceable, but will follow in his footsteps in providing great care to the Miller Park field.
“I knew Gary a little bit from our conferences and meetings, but I did not know him very well,” Scott said. “I certainly knew what he meant to the Brewers and to the city with the long history he had. That is certainly something that you cannot replace. I’m just here to provide the Brewers with the best playing surface we can.”
Scott said he talked to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke about the field and the Brewers skipper talked of the importance of having a clean and even playing surface that players can rely on each game.
“His main concern is having a good, safe and highly playable field for the players,” Scott said. “It’s my job to find the best way to provide that.”
Check out some photos from today’s logo painting below: