The Pioneer League has announced that Billings Mustangs head groundskeeper Jeff Limburg has won its Turf Manager of the Year Award for the 2017 season. Limburg is in his first season as Turf Manager with the Mustangs, replacing the late John Barta, who won the award three times.
“John Barta was a huge asset to the Billings Mustangs for the past 23 years, and having the opportunity to continue the work he started is an honor,” Limburg said. “Our grounds crew has done a fantastic job in their first season, and without the contributions of Sam Sheets, Josh Chilton, Dana Hill and Kyle Lassle we wouldn’t be able to maintain the playing surface to the level of expectations that we do. I want to thank the Pioneer League for recognizing our work, and the Mustangs ownership and management for their on-going support and efforts.”
A native of Fraser, Michigan, Limburg earned a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy and Turfgrass Management with an emphasis on athletic fields from Michigan State University. Jeff served as the Assistant Groundskeeper for the Columbus Clippers from 1997 – 2002 and the Toledo Mud Hens from 2002 – 2004. He also worked on the field staff for Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami. Limburg is a member of the Sports Turf Managers Association and the Montana Nursery Landscape Association.
“Providing a first-rate playing field is a big part of our work every day to give the Cincinnati Reds a premier home for their short-season affiliate,” said Mustangs owner Dave Heller. “Head Groundskeeper Jeff Limburg and our entire grounds crew earned this award by working tirelessly to make our field among the very best in baseball, not only for the Mustangs but also for the Montana State University Billings baseball team and for the Billings American Legion clubs. They do such a terrific job, both to make the field play well and look great, all year long. They embody everything it means to be a Mustang.”
“The Pioneer Baseball League is proud to recognize Jeff Limburg, his groundskeeping team, and the Billings Mustangs for the continued excellence in turf management, and to forward the nomination for the national award. The condition of our playing fields is a most important and essential component of professional baseball.”
“The Reds couldn’t be more proud of Jeff Limburg, the Billings Mustangs and the facilities they provide,” said Reds’ Senior Director of Player Development Jeff Graupe. “We annually assign some of our top young prospects to the Mustangs and we take comfort in knowing that they playing surface is just one of the many aspects of the Billings experience that will be top notch.”
Image of Dehler Park courtesy Billings Mustangs.