ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – With the recent lack of rainfall, many people across North Texas have probably had a hard time keeping their lawns green. But imagine if it was your job to keep an entire MLB field green into the fall. That’s the task that the Globe Life Park grounds crew faces each year.
They’re not in charge of the main show during a Texas Rangers game, but they are responsible for setting the stage. The field is actually a blend of two different grasses — ryegrass, which thrives in the cooler season, and Bermuda grass, which grows well in the summer.
The grass on the field is always green, always manicured, and it takes a knowledgable grounds crew to make that happen across at least 81 home games each season. “We’re surrounded by concrete and steel so, down on the field, it gets really warm,” said Dennis Klein, director of grounds at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
“Keeping your moisture up, your moisture level consistant, is a challenge,” Klein added.
But it’s not always the heat that presents a challenge to Klein and his team. Sometimes, the hassle comes from storms. If a storm threatens the DFW area, Klein stays in constant communication with the game’s umpires, so that they know when to call a possible delay. “It’s stressful, because you want to save the game,” said Klein.
At first glance, the baseball field may look like your own yard — just a lot larger. But there’s a big difference underneath the grass. There, you’ll find sand, pea gravel and a drainage system that can take away 6-10 inches of rainwater per hour. “The more water I get, the firmer the sand gets, and the field stays relatively playable after big rain storms,” said Klein.
“People can’t believe it’s not native soil,” continued Klein. “It’s sand.”
So, when the North Texas weather throws a curveball at Klein, he and his crew play a good defense. But he does not bring his work back home with him. “My own yard is not great,” Klein admitted. “When I go home, I really don’t want to mess with my yard.”