The Sports Turf Managers Association and Minor League Baseball have announced the 2015 Sports Turf Manager of the Year award winners.
Since 2000 the STMA and MiLB have honored members who manage fields in Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A and short season or rookie divisions. Three of the four honorees this year are multi-year winners, according to a news release from the STMA, exemplifying a commitment to excellence and an unwavering dedication to maintaining world-class professional baseball playing surfaces.
Award winners include:
- Triple A: John Stewart, Syracuse Chiefs, Syracuse, N.Y.
- Double A: Brock Phipps, Springfield Cardinals, Springfield, Mo.
- Single A: Keith Winter, Fort Wayne Tincaps, Fort Wayne, Ind.
- Short season or rookie: David Yearout, Spokane Indians, Spokane, Wash.
“Each year we highlight members in MiLB with the recognition they deserve for producing high-quality, safe and playable fields,” says Kim Heck, CEO of the STMA. “In an industry where Mother Nature is unpredictable, these individuals find innovative and persistent ways to maintain excellent field conditions.”
Phipps and Winter are both being honored for the third consecutive time; they were also awarded in 2013 and 2014. Yearout is a second-time winner — he won in 2014 — and Stewart is a first-time winner.
Winners are selected via a 16-member awards committee, compiled by the 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 turf industry.
The STMA will present awards to recipients at the annual MLB Winter Meetings awards luncheon on Dec. 7 in Nashville, Tenn.
Winter also is presenting on “Turf Management Practices on High-Use / High-Wear Sports Fields” at the 2015 Athletic Business Conference & Expo on Nov. 21 in New Orleans.