Beacon Athletics Diamond DaVincis

Let's talk ballfields.

This podcast is dedicated to the artistry and science of sports field management. Diamond Davincis celebrates the men and women in the sports field industry whose fields are their canvas. This podcast will discuss ballfields and their artists at all levels — from the little leagues to the bigs, and everywhere in between. From time to time we may venture into the world of football and soccer groundskeeping. Golf? Forget about it! They have their own shows. We hope to educate, inform and entertain you with interviews from around the sports field management industry. Give your mind a break while working on your fields and give us a listen. Email questions directly to podcast@beaconathletics.com.

Meet the Hosts

Today’s Outta the Park interview is with Justin Spillman (Head Groundskeeper, Chicago Cubs) and Roger Baird (Facilities Asst. Dir. and Frmr Head Groundskeeper, Chicago Cubs) talking all about the amazing changes happening both on the field and in the stands at Wrigley. In the Turf Maintenance segment we discuss cleaning up after baseball and softball while also thinking about prepping for football and soccer. And we finish up with a High-Low segment looking at the differences in water management on native soil vs sand-based fields.

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Double the fun at Wrigley Field (August 26, 2015)

There’s so much happening at Wrigley field and we have a great Outta the Park interview with Justin Spillman (Head Groundskeeper, Chicago Cubs) and Roger Baird (Facilities Asst. Dir. and Frmr Head Groundskeeper, Chicago Cubs) about managing the field during all the chaos that is construction – both on the field and in the stands, all these changes have an effect on the Grounds Crew’s work. We talk to Roger about the change over to a sand-based root zone from a soil-based root zone and find out that Justin has some great insight there as well since he was a member of the field construction crew. Both guys have a great perspective on the past and the future of the field and Wrigley in general – the excitement for the changes is palpable in the air around Chi-town.

In our Turf Maintenance segment we take a closer look at what groundskeepers do to “clean up” after summer baseball and softball as how things are different for folks who are now turning an eye to fall-ball (baseball, football or soccer). Specifically, we found we have more questions than answers when thinking about football and soccer.

Do you manage football and/or soccer fields in the fall? We’d love your input! Tell us all about your cultivation, fertilization and traffic management practices at the bottom of this page in the comments or email us podcast@beaconathletics.com. We may read your email or contact you for a quick interview if you’re interested in talking with us.

Finally, we round out the show with a High/Low where Paul and Theresa more closely look at the differences in water management and budgeting that come with working on a soil root zone vs a sand-based root zone.

Segments: Turf Maintenance, Outta the Park, High/Low

Guests: Justin Spillman, Head Groundskeeper for the Chicago Cubs and Roger Baird, Facilities Asst. Dir./Frmr Head Groundskeeper for the Chicago Cubs)

▶ Turf Maintenance:
NCSU Turffiles information on Pythium
Purdue University information on Pythium including fungicide options and descriptions
Iowa State University, Dr. Minner’s Generic Maintenance Program for Football
Kansas State University Football Maintenance Guide for Tall Fescue
Kansas State University Football Maintenance Guide for Bermudagrass
University of Tennessee Amazing Guide for Bermudagrass Athletic Field Maintenance
Comprehensive list of Dr. Powell’s Turf Guides from the University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky, Excellent and Detailed Fertilization Guide for Overseeded Bermudagrass Fall or Spring use Athletic Fields
University of Kentucky Guide to Overseeding Bermudagrass – older information but still very good

▶ Outta the Park: Cubs Grounds Crew Singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame

▶ High/Low:University of Kentucky, Dr. Powell’s “Water – The Boondoggle for Native Soil Sports Fields”

▶ Paul’s Visit to Wrigley
During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 off-seasons, the concrete deckings of the seating bowl on both the upper and lower decks will be totally removed and replaced.
This picture is a view from the press box at Wrigley. During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 off-seasons, the concrete deckings of the seating bowl on both the upper and lower decks will be totally removed and replaced

The outfield bleachers were reconstructed last winter and expanded outward towards both Waveland Ave on the LF side and Sheffield Ave on the RF side of the ballpark.  All of the brick behind the ivy on the outfield wall is to be replaced this winter but the ivy will be pulled back and then reattached in the spring  before Opening Day 2016.
Shows the 2 new video boards in left and right field while the manual scoreboard stays intact and functional in center field. The outfield bleachers were reconstructed last winter and expanded outward towards both Waveland Ave on the LF side and Sheffield Ave on the RF side of the ballpark. All of the brick behind the ivy on the outfield wall is to be replaced this winter but the ivy will be pulled back and then reattached in the spring before Opening Day 2016.

It was built in the nineteen teens, it had six rooms.  It has been moved around but is to be put back into it’s original place.  The home had 6 rooms.  Surprisingly, when tested for lead paint recently for the renovation, the test results came back negative.  The glowing red brick looks fake but is very real.
This is the “Groundskeeper House “ that was built onto the outside of Wrigley Field on the 3rd base/LF side of the ball park to house the Head Groundskeeper. It was built in the nineteen teens, it had six rooms. It has been moved around but is to be put back into it’s original place. The home had 6 rooms. Surprisingly, when tested for lead paint recently for the renovation, the test results came back negative. The glowing red brick looks fake but is very real.

Looking down the length of the “6 room” house built for the groundskeeper early in the last century.  Tiny by todays standards.
Looking down the length of the “6 room” house built for the groundskeeper early in the last century. Tiny by today’s standards.

Looking at the third base side exterior of Wrigley Field along Clark Street.  Towering upwards from street level is the skeleton of the future offices for the ballclub.  When finished, they will rise 6 stories high.
Looking at the third base side exterior of Wrigley Field along Clark Street. Towering upwards from street level is the skeleton of the future offices for the ballclub. When finished, they will rise 6 stories high. The Cubs clubhouse will be below these offices, underground.

a view down into the new Cubs locker room being constructed.  It is underground outside of the 3rd base side of Wrigley Field.  It will be the 2nd largest clubhouse in MLB at the smallest ballpark.  On top of the clubhouse at ground level will be a large grassy field for public events held by the Cubs.
Shows a view down into the new Cubs locker room being constructed. It is underground outside of the 3rd base side of Wrigley Field. It will be the 2nd largest clubhouse in MLB at the smallest ballpark. On top of the clubhouse at ground level will be a large grassy field for public events held by the Cubs.