After years of issues with poor field conditions, the Potomac Nationals (High Class A; Carolina League) unveiled a new playing surface at Pfitzner Stadium.
Over the course of the offseason, the diamond at the Pfitz underwent a total transformation. Immediately following the last out of the 2011 season, the old surface was completely removed. Carolina Green began the process of constructing the new surface. The first step in the process was the installation of brand-new Cambridge drainage and irrigation systems. Next, the entire diamond was laser graded to Major League Baseball standards.
The field itself was then constructed; Patriot Bermuda sod was laid and overseeded and then placed underneath the field blanket. Finally, a new pitchers mound and home plate area have been constructed from Pro’s Choice mound clay.
A problem with the playing field wasn’t officially cited as a reason why Nats prospect Bryce Harper bypassed Potomac last season during his rise through the minors (he went directly from Low Class A to Class AA Harrisburg), and it’s been no secret that drainage has been an issue. With a new playing field, there’s a better change as well that the P-Nats can land a rehabbing major leaguer.
“The field had not been rebuilt since ball park construction in 1984 and initially when built was not in compliance with major league requirements,” said Potomac Nationals owner Art Silber. “What we now have is state of the art which will provide a superior playing surface, but more importantly one that will minimize player injury.”
In addition, the P-Nats hired a full-time groundskeeper: Brian Stokes, who most recently worked with the Washington Nationals’ grounds crew.
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