Preparation is underway for the second annual Little League Classic, set for Williamsport, PA’s BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field this month.
After a successful debut in 2017, Major League Baseball is bringing back the Little League Classic for 2018. This year’s event will take place on August 19 and feature a regular-season game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field, the home of the Williamsport Crosscutters (Short Season A; NY-Penn League).
BrightView, a sports turf consultant to Major League Baseball, employs Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) members responsible for the field preparation at Historic Bowman Field. Beginning Aug. 13, BrightView’s Development and Sports Turf teams will prepare the field by putting down new conditioner products on the infield skin, painting logos, perfecting edges in the infield and warning track and ensuring the home plate area and pitcher’s mound are at major league standards. Additionally, the team will add padding to the outfield walls, field lights, tents and trailers for operations and train the Penn College Baseball team on tarp deployment.
The second oldest Minor League Baseball venue in the country will play host to the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on August 19. The game will air live on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
“We were thrilled when MLB announced there would be a second Little League Classic considering the fantastic job our members and BrightView did rebuilding Historic Bowman Field last year,” says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “This game is not only great for the community in Williamsport, but it’s an honor for our members to showcase their excellent work creating the safest and most aesthetically pleasing playing surface possible.”
“This may be the smallest venue to ever host an MLB game, so with that comes challenges that most people probably would never know,” says Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf and past President of STMA. “Isaiah and his team have done extremely well keeping this minor league field in top condition throughout the Crosscutters season, and over the next two weeks we’ll take the necessary steps to perfect it as it prepares to host an MLB game.”
Last year, BrightView Landscape Development and Sports Turf teams laid 4,500 tons of sand and root-zone material to prepare the natural grass surface; removed 1 1/2 feet of physical mass; constructed the playing surface and set infield and outfield sod the week of May 30, 2017. BrightView also oversaw the installation of new foul poles, bullpens, a batter’s eye and backstop net to meet MLB requirements.
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