February 2014

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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20 SportsTurf | February 2014 A t Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, TX home of the Texas Rangers, Dennis Klein, Director of Major League Baseball grounds, says he "would recommend zoysia." For several seasons, even during Word Series Games, the Rangers infield was grassed with Zeon Zoysia, and then Y2 Zoysia, both developed by Bladerunner Farms in Poteet, TX. "It did great," Klein says. "Zoysia is a little slower to es- tablish than bermudagrass, and slower for the seams to lock together, but once it's in there and established it's re- ally hard to hurt. We put it in in June and wouldn't replace a piece of grass on it until after the season. We went through a couple of World Series with it. The cutout at first and third base, and in front of the pitchers mound, you could beat balls into it and it wouldn't divot. It's really tough grass." Klein says the Rangers installed the zoysiagrass infield at the request of the pitching coach. "We had been putting zoysia every year on the infield grass because we were able to maintain it at a taller height of cut to slow the ball down. The pitching coach wanted it tall and the zoysia of- installing the power cords runs across that hill. Concerts are a tough week for that hill and it stands up. We've been really happy with the zoysiagrass in that role," he says. "There was one time at a concert, a forklift fork was shoved into the hill and tore the grass. We replaced the divot and it healed back over the winter. I wouldn't ex- pect to grow warm season grass in the winter but even some November damage healed." From high school to the big leagues: ZOYSIAGRASS FOR SPORTS TURF Field Science | By Stacie Zinn Roberts Dan Bergstrom of the Houston Astros in action last season. Photo courtesy of Houston Astros. Opening Night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, March 31, 2013. Photo courtesy of Houston Astros.

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