Field Preps Begin Long Before The First Pitch

The Reds begin their season on Monday, but the players aren't the only ones taking the field.

There's a whole other team getting ready to play ball.

The sounds of baseball season will be in full swing this Opening Day. After weeks of Spring Training, Reds players are ready to go, and so is the field that Ggriffey, Dunn, Phillips and the rest of the team will step on. While the team had a bit of an off season the field has been working hard since the fall.

"We put a grow blanket across the whole field that essentially heats up the roots zone a little bit and gives us a jump start on the spring," said Reds head groundskeeper Doug Gallant.

The cover comes off on Feb. 1 and a crew of up to 20 people begin working 8 to 9 hour days preparing the field for Opening Day. Now the field at Great American looks so good in person and on T.V. many may think it's sod but it's not it's seed grown.

"Sod tends not to do as well in the summer heat, where as a newly seeded field tends to do a little better and is a little tougher, and holds up in a drought a little bit better," said Gallant.

In order to keep the field in it's luscious green state, it takes a arsenal of equipment, in fact just outside the Reds bullpen is the shed, where over 10 tractors and mowers are stowed and tons of fertilizer and sand.

The crew mows and trims just about every other day and they set the mower blades at roughly an inch high. When it comes to water the field can hold 3 to 4 inches of rain, but how does it drain so fast?

"What a lot of people do not know it's a 100 percent sand and no soil so we can peculate," said Gallant.

And with rain in the forecast this week, that fast drainage may come in handy. Frank Marzullo