Grounds Crew behind the scenes

JACKSON, Tenn — The surface the Jackson Generals play on is always a beautiful site to see. Thanks in large part to their ground crew and the around the clock work they do.

I found out what goes into keeping a game field ready for play, even through heavy down pours and a lot of usage.

Just three years ago the Generals got a new draining system that would allow an outfield to withstand during heavy rains, and be ready to play moments after the rain has cleared.

Head grounds keeper, Marty Wallace said, “used to be right field, center field, when it rained, you were in trouble.” Now with a new system, he said the field is on a major league level as far as the field surface is concerned.

Wallace is the only full time crew member but has seven men on the staff and one intern who happens to pull long hours with Wallace. On the days of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, the staff would come in around 8 a.m. and not leave until after midnight.

Wallace explained what he and his staff have to do everyday, “I’ll hop on the mower, mow the infield and sidelines. Jacob will start packing the bullpens. As he finishes up with the bullpen it’s kind of like tag teaming,” Wallace said.  “He goes in, hops on the mower, starts mowing the outfield. I start dragging up the dirt, and we kind of stop. Water it together and then just get it ready for the game.”