Avista Stadium groundskeeper called up by MLB to help prepare field for All-Star Game

Published online: Jul 12, 2017 Sod

SPOKANE, Wash.—Tony Lee has never been afraid of hard work.

Or knowing that thousands of people critique his work many nights throughout the summer. You see, that’s what happens when you’re a baseball field groundskeeper.

As the head groundskeeper for the Spokane Indians, Lee is used to it all.

Avista Stadium’s overseeded field is one of minor league baseball’s jewels. It’s been voted as the best field in the league, by the league’s managers, 18 times in the last 22 seasons. The Sports Turf Managers Association has named Avista Stadium as its “field of the year” three times.

But thanks to the help of his former boss, who also was once the Indians’ lead groundskeeper, Lee is a part of something a whole lot bigger this week. At Marlins Park in Miami. For Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

It all started a few years ago when it was announced that Miami would host the 2017 Midsummer Classic. Marlins Park head groundskeeper Chad Mulholland called his old friend Lee to ask what he might think about visiting Miami to help a friend.

As you can guess, it didn’t take Lee long to answer. Last week, he flew to Miami and he hasn’t slept much since. Working an event like this when you’re a groundskeeper is like a child waking up on Christmas morning, including the inability to get sleep. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

“I’ve stayed all day every day because I haven’t been able to hang out with Chad for about 16 years and I want to learn and experience all that I can in this moment,” Lee said Monday night just before the Home Run Derby was to begin. “I haven’t taken a morning off since I arrived or left early once. I’m soaking it all up.”

Source: www.spokesman.com