SportsTurf

June 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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FIELD OF THE YEAR 40 SportsTurf | June 2017 www.sportsturfonline.com and rubbers. Although this wasn't a major renovation, finally having a proper warm-up area was crucial to the legitimacy of the facility. I am very proud of the turnaround that has occurred at Pacer Field. In 2014, several home games had to be moved to local rec fields due to unplayable conditions. This was obviously unacceptable for a D-3 institution. Since then, the field has opened earlier in the playing year than ever before. We hosted four Pennsylvania state high school playoff games this season with more planned in the future. It has been a long process bringing the field back to life, and the weather has certainly been difficult, but Pacer Field has established itself locally as a premier softball playing surface. Winning the STMA FOY award will establish its name nationally. SportsTurf: A lot of extra effort expended to win two Field of the Year Awards in the same year? How did you do it? Galdieri: The key to my having won Field of the Year in both baseball and softball is that I try to implement maintenance plans that are as identical as possible between the two fields. Both surfaces are fairly similar in physical composition, so it makes sense to treat them as basically one field. My fertiliza- tion/pesticide applications and cultural programs are usually carried out at the same time and at the same rates. It can be difficult to maintain this approach during the playing seasons, but much of the prep work occurs during the off-season. In 2016, I laser graded the softball infield. I plan to do the same at baseball this year. I've had to split up lasering the fields in order to stay within budget. I make sure to pay equal attention to all the fields I manage. ST: What attracted you to a career in sports turf management? Galdieri: I became attracted to the sports turf industry in prob- ably the same way most other people do. I grew up involved in football and baseball, which I played through college. I've just always been interested in sports. When I was very young, I remember playing wiffleball in my grandparent's blacktop driveway and putting down the white chalk lines and batter's boxes and sweeping them away afterwards. I don't think too many 5 year olds do that. Later on, I found out that I actually enjoyed mowing the lawn as a kid. I also remember reading an article in a magazine about how to make a roller for your mower so that you could stripe your yard in a checkerboard pattern like on a major league field. Then I found out that you could major in turf management, so I enrolled at Delaware Valley College in 2005. It just kind of all made sense. ST: What are your biggest challenges in providing excellent playing surfaces? And how do you approach those challenges? Galdieri: Weather is by far the biggest challenge I face on a daily basis. I know most turf managers would probably say the same thing, but in this part of the country, we face extremes on every level. In 2016 alone, our temperature range was -8 to 97. We had 21 days over 90 degrees. We received over 1' of rain in a 30-day period in the summer. We had only 6" in the three months prior. Also, the main playing season occurs in early March through May. This year, we had a blizzard with almost 30" of snow one week before our first scheduled games. We essentially have to cram an entire home schedule into the most volatile months of the year, with no drainage systems to help. The way I address these challenges is by trying to stay a step ahead of the weather by watching radars/models and reading the National Weather Service forecasts. I have three radar apps

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