06 July 2010
Unsung Heroes of Dehler, Pirtz, Urbaska etc
Groundskeepers have an almost thankless job before and in-between games. You might be surprised how much attention an infield takes. I'm not sure what the coach above is watering, maybe a weed that is going to cause a bad hop for the opposing first baseman.
That guy with the industrial strength tamper is doing a really important job: filling in the hole that the pitcher makes when his front foot lands in the same place repeatedly. The above picture and this one are from Pirtz Field earlier this year.
This is the machine they use to make those nice lines that define the playing field, to aid the umpire in telling foul from fair. Thus far, they don't have that replay ability as in some tennis matches. Water, and just the right amount, is another critical factor in the infield, batter's box and pitcher's mound.
Here is my nomination for easiest groundskeeping job, riding a tractor smoothing out the infield. At Dehler, when the Mustangs are in town about 5 or 6 guys go out with little draggy thing to smooth it out quickly at the beginning of the 5th inning. Very smart.
This is a picture of a coach and an umpire, both representative of important folks in the great game of baseball as played here in Billings MT. I'm always a little surprised when I see a game in other towns because I then realize how lucky we are to have the high quality umpires we do have. Yes, friends, go to Butte or Helena if you want to see some "homers. " If any bias is present it is in favor of our visitors so that like Caesar's wife there is not a hint of suspicion. This is true at the Little League level, the Legion level and especially at the Mustang games. These guys are good and when an occasional mistake crops up it stands out a mile and in particular with the strike zone these guys are anxious to make it as good and consistent as possible.
We in Billings have been very fortunate in the quality of the coaches we have had in the past and have now, particularly at the Legion level. That is not an easy job.