It’s that time of year when the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) and Minor League Baseball (MiLB) announce the 2016 Sports Turf Manager of the Year Awards across every level of affiliated baseball.
Since 2000, STMA and MiLB have honored members who manage fields in Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A and Short Season or Rookie divisions. This year, one of the four honorees is a multi-year winner. This year’s award recipients:
- Triple-A – Casey Griffin, Albuquerque Isotopes (Pacific Coast League)
- Double-A – Brock Phipps, Springfield Cardinals (Texas League)
- Single-A – Greg Burgess, Greenville Drive (South Atlantic League)
- Short Season or Rookie – Matt Neri, State College Spikes (NY-Penn League)
“I want to acknowledge the safe and beautiful playing surfaces that all of our minor league members produce each year,” says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “The competition was fierce and the quality of the natural grass playing surfaces produced by these four award winners is stunning.”
Phipps is being honored for the fifth time in his career and fourth consecutively (2008, 2013, 2014, 2015). Burgess is a second-time winner (2008), while Griffin and Neri are first-time winners, joining an elite class of sports turf managers. Additionally, Griffin was the inaugural winner of STMA’s “Stars and Stripes” contest in July.
Winners are selected via a 16-member awards committee, compiled by STMA. Each nominee is independently scored on cultural practices, game day routine, resource utilization, staff management and the groundskeeper’s involvement and support of the sports turf industry.
STMA will present awards to recipients at the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings awards luncheon in National Harbor, Md. on December 5.