Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm
For a city that seems to endure everlasting winters, bright green grass at Miller Park on Opening Day can be an unbelievable sight. Michael Boettcher, the park’s director of grounds, and his 50-person team are the miracle workers behind the 130,000 square feet of pristine natural turf and clay on which the Milwaukee Brewers will play 81 home games over the next few months.
When the Brew Crew kicked off the season on April 2, the grounds crew had been prepping the field for about six months, starting at the end of last season. Daily field maintenance will continue throughout the season.
- The turf grass covering most of the field starts its growth process in the fall. It is carefully maintained and covered with a tarp until early March, when the crew removes it to fertilize, water and mow.
- Synthetic light producers, called grow lights, were powered up in early March. They provide extra “sunlight” to promote more growth on the field’s high-trafficked or shady areas, like the outfield.
- Boettcher uses a mower to cut the edge of the infield turf. “Our goal is to produce the best possible surface that we can for our players and for the visiting players,” he said.
- Fields manager Tom Henke assists in the edging process. Behind him are bags of clay that will be spread on the infield’s clay surface.
- Groundskeeper Chris Solberg shovels fresh clay onto the warning track in front of the Brewers’ dugout. It will be leveled, compacted and firmed to help players make a smooth transition between clay and grass.
Photos by Lila Aryan Photography