Ode to the Groundskeepers

Ode to the Groundskeepers

In his office he plans to keep,
the infield and outfield nice and neat.
Mixing seeds and clay all day,
grooming skins level for play.
Rolling tarps in case of rain,
to cover those skins so dry and plain.
Skins that are amber and red,
with clay and hardener- nice and wet.
Bake dry in the sun and hard as a rock,
running or sliding – safe or out.
Then there’s the outfield with so much grass,
so much to cut pass after pass.
Oh my Lord, what does he see,
as he looks out – there plain as could be!
One dandelion in the outfield with so much space,
now there’s two, then three, crap – there all over the place.
Then he gets weak in the knees,
there in the infield, as plain as can be!
Along the baselines and next to the dugouts too,
can you imagine how bold and upright – well how do you do.
He can’t believe it, there next to these pests,
there’s brown grass in front of the backstop nets.
Oh no this cannot be,
brown grass in plain sight for everyone to see.
So he readies his crew with shovels and rakes,
with fertilizers and sprays, - if it takes all day.
But to his dismay as they take to the field,
as dark clouds challenge the power he wields.
“So what” he proclaims,” this is my field domain!”
“I call the shots here” he yells, “let it shine or let it rain.”
But a bolt of lightning is sent his way,
“Oh well,” he thinks to himself, “tomorrows another day.”

I respect the hell out of grounds keepers. I struggle to keep my own lawn weed-free for an entire summer. I understand they have resources and time to dedicate to the field. I don’t have a team of 30 people constantly fussing over my lawn.

The thing that is always a pleasant surprise is going to a youth park where the grass is not brown and patchy, the infield doesn’t have depressions around the sliding patches at each base (those areas of standing water after it rains), or the pair of foxholes at the pitcher’s mound and the triangle configuration of foxholes at home plate are not present.

A town that really cares about its baseball and the safety of its children always has a group of parents that maintain the ball field when the parks and recreation department has abandoned it due to apathy or budgetary constraints.

The next time you visit a well-maintained youth facility, go out of your way to identify and recognize the people responsible. Also, take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if your child deserves to play his home games on a safe and well-maintained field. Many hands make for light work. It’s really not that difficult to grab a rake and drag it back and forth :wink: Step up to the plate (so to speak) so your child doesn’t break an ankle trying to run from the batter’s box.