The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) and Minor League Baseball have announced several accolades, naming the 2019 Sports Field Managers of the Year award winners.
This year’s winners continuously demonstrate the hard work and passion needed to provide attractive and safe playing fields at all levels. Amongst the honorees are multiple repeat winners including one sports field manager who is being recognized for the third consecutive season. Award recipients will receive this top honor at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings during the Awards Luncheon on Monday, December 9, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California.
Award winners include:
- Triple-A – Matt Parrott, Charlotte Knights (International League)
- Double-A – Brock Phipps, Springfield Cardinals (Texas League)
- Single-A – Mitch Hooten, West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League)
- Short Season or Rookie – Ross Baron, Vancouver Canadians (Northwest League)
“The stellar submissions for this year’s MiLB Sports Field Manager of the Year awards highlights the critical role that STMA members play in presenting first class venues for players, coaches and fans,” says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “We are proud to honor the widespread talent and tireless commitment to excellence of our Minor League Baseball sports field managers.”
Matt Parrott from the Charlotte Knights repeats for a third time as the Triple- A ‘Sports Field Manager of the Year’ award winner after receiving the honor in 2017 and 2018. He also won the award in the Double-A class in 2011 as a member of the Bowie Baysox (Eastern League). Parrott’s other accolades include winning the ‘Eastern League Diamond Pro Sports Field Manager of the Year’ in 2011, 2014, and 2015.
Brock Phipps wins the Double-A ‘Sports Field Manager of the Year’ award for the seventh time as a member of the Springfield Cardinals. He previously won the award in 2008 and from 2013 through 2016. Hammons Field, home of the Cardinals where Phipps is the Head Groundskeeper, has become one of the most decorated venues in professional baseball, winning Double-A Field of the Year a record setting six times.
Mitch Hooten from the West Michigan Whitecaps wins the Single-A ‘Sports Field Manager of the Year’ award for the first time. His team worked diligently to provide a premier playing surface for the future stars of the Detroit Tigers. A 2012 Graduate of Mississippi State, Hooten spent the 2016 season as the Head Groundskeeper for the Beloit Snappers (Midwest League).
Ross Baron wins this year’s Short Season/Rookie ‘Sports Field Manager of the Year’ award as a member of the Vancouver Canadians. He began his career in 2012 when he completed an internship with the World Series Champion Washington Nationals. A native of Gibsons, B.C., this marks the first time that a Canadians Head Groundskeeper has been recognized with the award.
Since 2000, STMA and MiLB have honored members who manage fields in Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A and Short Season or Rookie divisions. Winners are selected via a 12-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 field industry.