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Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 02:05 PM
Hello everyone. First, I'd like to apologize if you guys feel that this is posted in the wrong forum. I just wanted to make sure everyone could see it. Anyway, I'm obviously new to Reds Zone, if the post count didn't already give that away, haha. I worked as a member of the Reds Ground Crew for the past three seasons. I must say, it was an awesome experience, especially being that I'm a lifelong Reds fan. I graduated from Miami Univ. of Ohio in 2003. I took the job with the Reds as a method of getting my "foot in the door", in an attempt to work toward a full time career in professional sports. At the end of my first season, I began working for WCPO-tv Channel 9 also...another opportunity to build my resume.

I am now employed by MLB and MLB.com and work with the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's a job payed by MLB directly out of NYC, but with the Pirates. Hopefully that makes sense. So, my resume building continues and I'm extremely anxious for baseball to begin. Unfortunately, I wont be sitting in the dugout for each and every Red's home game, but I'll be working toward that full time career in MLB.

So, that's my introduction. I'll share some of the pictures that I took during my experience with the Reds.


Here is a picture of Griffey heading out to center to play defense. This also gives a perspective of the view from where the grounds crew stands.
http://img8.picsplace.to/img8/16/Grounds_Crew_Pics_017_SMALL_000.JPG

Arroyo and Ross during the game.
http://img8.picsplace.to/img8/16/Grounds_Crew_Pics_005_SMALL_000.JPG

Hatteberg, Kearns, and LaRue during the game.
http://img8.picsplace.to/img8/16/Grounds_Crew_Pics_013_SMALL_000.JPG

Dunn aka Big Donkey...after either hitting a HR or striking out, haha.
http://img8.picsplace.to/img8/16/Grounds_Crew_Pics_015_SMALL.JPG

Brandon Phillips. The team calls him "B Real".
http://img8.picsplace.to/img8/16/Grounds_Crew_Pics_016_SMALL.JPG

Dunn going to play Defense.
http://img8.picsplace.to/img8/16/Grounds_Crew_Pics_018_SMALL.JPG

Me and Dunn. That was my first season.
http://myspace-994.vo.llnwd.net/00518/49/99/518889994_l.jpg

Me and the Mayor.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_120_full.jpg



I'm gonna upload some more...

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 02:11 PM
Here are some more....

Me and Larkin.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_122_full.jpg

Me and Castro.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_131_full.jpg

Me and Wily Mo.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_132_full.jpg

Another picture taken during the game.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_115_full.jpg

One of my favorites. The bat rack and helmet rack.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_116_full.jpg

The team was on defense.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_117_full.jpg

This is a great picture as well, also one of my favorites. This is where they players leave their hats and gloves when on offense.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_118_full.jpg



Again...more to come...

deltachi8
01-23-2007, 02:11 PM
thanks, welcome, and congrats on the mlb job.

westofyou
01-23-2007, 02:16 PM
Great shots, good stuff.... what's the mixture they pour on the mound to dry it made of? Who cleans up all those sunflower seed shells and Aurilia's amyl nitrate capsules and how far is the bathroom from the bench?

RANDY IN INDY
01-23-2007, 02:16 PM
Great pics. Welcome!:beerme:

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 02:17 PM
Here's more...again...

Remember Corey Lidle? He pitched for us on opening day my first year as a member of the crew. This picture was taken during a rainy night. The mound was wet, so we had to interrupt the game and drop a bag of Turface on the mound to absorb the rain. The picture was in the Enquirer the next day.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_126_full.jpg

This next set is my absolute favorite. They were taken during Larkin's last game as a Red. He was taken out in the 4th inning so that the fan's could applaud him. I took these pictures as Larkin was walking off for the last time in his career. What a great athlete.
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_127_full.jpg

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_128_full.jpg

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/449193_130_full_000.jpg



That's all I have for now. Hope you guys enjoy the pictures and maybe I'll get to know some of you.

Degenerate39
01-23-2007, 02:18 PM
That seems like a pretty cool job being around the Cincinnati Reds all day

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 02:21 PM
Great shots, good stuff.... what's the mixture they pour on the mound to dry it made of? Who cleans up all those sunflower seed shells and Aurilia's amyl nitrate capsules and how far is the bathroom from the bench?


Haha...so the questions begin. Don't worry, I get lots of questions from my friends and family ALL THE TIME.

The mixture that the infield, mound, and home plate are made of is called Turface. It's a really fine material that feels a lot like kitty litter. It looks GREAT after we water the infield just before the game. I'm sure you've seen that.

As for the sunflower seeds. The stuff in the stands is all cleaned up after every game by a cleaning crew, nothing to do with us. The restroom for the players is directly behind the dugout just down the steps. Any more questions? HAHA.

Jpup
01-23-2007, 02:24 PM
Haha...so the questions begin. Don't worry, I get lots of questions from my friends and family ALL THE TIME.

The mixture that the infield, mound, and home plate are made of is called Turface. It's a really fine material that feels a lot like kitty litter. It looks GREAT after we water the infield just before the game. I'm sure you've seen that.

As for the sunflower seeds. The stuff in the stands is all cleaned up after every game by a cleaning crew, nothing to do with us. The restroom for the players is directly behind the dugout just down the steps. Any more questions? HAHA.

have you ever seen any of the Reds getting vitamin shots?:laugh:

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 02:26 PM
have you ever seen any of the Reds getting vitamin shots?:laugh:


Haha...I knew that was coming. Nope, but I did run into Barry Bonds. That dude didn't even make eye contact and I walked RIGHT past him. :mooner:

Red Leader
01-23-2007, 02:27 PM
Thanks for posting the pictures and good luck in pursuing your dream.

Working grounds crew, are there any jobs or responsibilities that you do that the normal fan would never notice? For instance, would the head coach call for one of you to run into his office to grab a piece of paper or something he forgot so he doesn't have to leave the dugout, or something like that?

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 02:31 PM
Thanks for posting the pictures and good luck in pursuing your dream.

Working grounds crew, are there any jobs or responsibilities that you do that the normal fan would never notice? For instance, would the head coach call for one of you to run into his office to grab a piece of paper or something he forgot so he doesn't have to leave the dugout, or something like that?

No, nothing like that ever happened to me...or was ever asked of me I should say.

We got to do a LOT of really cool stuff. During batting practice, before the stands opened for the fans, we were allowed to go in the outfield and catch the fly balls that the players hit. Too bad most of Griffey's were uncatchable, haha.

I've met a LOT of players too. I even have a picture somewhere of me wearing Albert Pujols Helmet, haha. Shhhh, no one really knows about that though. :thumbup:

RichRed
01-23-2007, 02:57 PM
Fantastic pictures! We may be looking at a new RedsZone record for average rep points per post with this guy.

Gallen5862
01-23-2007, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the pics. It was a interesting viewpoint.

RFS62
01-23-2007, 03:42 PM
Killer stuff, GroundsCrew.

Welcome to the board, and congratulations on your new gig.

:beerme:

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 05:03 PM
Thanks for all the congrats regarding my new job. The good thing is that the Reds are in the same division as the Pirates, so I'll be able to see them a lot. I can't wait for the season to begin.

scounts22
01-23-2007, 05:17 PM
Freakin sweet pics, you're a cutie! ;)

George Anderson
01-23-2007, 05:33 PM
Haha...I knew that was coming. Nope, but I did run into Barry Bonds. That dude didn't even make eye contact and I walked RIGHT past him. :mooner:

So whats the food in the clubhouse like?? Buffet I assume?? Plenty of Barley and hops for after the game also??

kbrake
01-23-2007, 06:18 PM
Great pics. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new job.

BoydsOfSummer
01-23-2007, 06:27 PM
Those pics were a great boost on a cold January day. How many days until pitchers and catchers report?

traderumor
01-23-2007, 06:43 PM
Great pics. They almost melted the snow outside.

My question is, who cut your hair after Ramon Ortiz left?

gm
01-23-2007, 07:34 PM
My question is, who cut your hair after Ramon Ortiz left?

From the looks of things, either Norelco or Braun

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 08:03 PM
Haha...bald guy jokes huh...and I just got here! Haha! :beerme:

redsfan30
01-23-2007, 09:16 PM
Wonderful pictures!

Can't wait for April to roll around!

fearofpopvol1
01-23-2007, 09:37 PM
What was your favorite Reds related experience that you had while you were with the team?

Superdude
01-23-2007, 09:49 PM
Wily Mo Pena is HUGE! It looks like I could fit my bicep inside his forearm about 3 times.

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 10:51 PM
What was your favorite Reds related experience that you had while you were with the team?

Honestly, I don't have a favorite. I have a lot...I mean a LOT of really good memories. Since Griffey is my favorite player, I'll tell you a good story about him. It's actually fun telling stories about my experiences because I really feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of it. I'll start with this story, but I'll keep on telling more if you guys want.

As you all know, we played a series in Detroit last year. I went to two of those Detroit games COURTESY of Junior. I have friends in Detroit so I wanted to make the trip up to the games and figured it would be a great chance to see them too. So, I asked Junior the week before the game if he'd put me on will-call for some free tickets. When he asked how many tickets I needed, I said,

"ummm, 5"....

and he said, "5? Is that it?"

Haha...

So, he ended up hooking me up with 5 tickets for each game RIGHT BEHIND HOME PLATE...

Anyway, you may or may not remember the Saturday game. We were down in the 7th or 8th inning until Junior came up to bad. I had on my Griffey Jersey #30 (his original number before he changed it to #3 because of his kids)....annnyway, these incredibly rude guys behind me were yelling stuff the entire game about how Griffey sucks and how I had on the wrong Jersey, blah blah...they didnt even know that 30 was his old number.

To finish my story....when Griffey came up to bat and hit that grand slam, I stood on my seat and went nuts ... the entire stadium was quiet as you could ever imagine after that. So, I turned around and went off on those guys...haha. They had a really blank look on their faces. THAT..was one of my favorite memories.

roundboy22
01-23-2007, 11:17 PM
Awesome story. Thats why junior is the man. Welcome aboard and I look forward to more stories from you.:thumbup:

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 11:24 PM
Here's some more....


My first year on the grounds crew was the year the Cicadas invaded Cincy. The players were paying each other something like $500 bucks CASH during batting practice to eat those. I remember Adam Dunn eating some and Hume did too. It was really funny to watch. They seem to have so much fun all the time. Haha...nasty though.

That same year, Griffey was making fun of this big black guy that worked with us because he had a huge nappy head of hair. His beard was always a mess and nappy too. So, Junior told him if he came in the next day with everything except his eyebrows shaved, that he would give him $500 in cash. The next day this guy came in completely clean cut. Junior grabbed Dunn and both of them laughed their ass off. Griffey kept his promise. He went to the locker room for a few minutes and then came back with $500 in cash.

Here's another. Since I worked at Channel 9 in the mornings until early afternoon, I would sometimes walk from the TV station to the stadium. One day, Griffey saw me walking about a mile from the stadium and picked me up. He was on his way to the stadium. So, there I was riding in his Mercedes Benz SL500 that he got when he hit his 500th homerun. It has a lot of custom work done to it, an awesome stereo and some sweet 19" black wheels with a polished lip. My point is that he's so real and down to earth man. I wish you guys could meet this dude. If this thread keeps going I'll keep on posting some good stories.
_________________________

fearofpopvol1
01-23-2007, 11:24 PM
Very cool story.

I might as well throw out another question. If you were with the team for 3 years, you obviously were around for some of the time that Dan O'Brien was there as well as Wayne Krivsky. Obviously, the departure with Dan was not very amicable. Did you feel that when Wayne came in, it was a positive change? Do you feel like the players are more optimistic now or about the same or do you not really know? What are your thoughts on the direction that the organization is headed in since you were with the team?

Grounds_Crew
01-23-2007, 11:40 PM
Very cool story.

I might as well throw out another question. If you were with the team for 3 years, you obviously were around for some of the time that Dan O'Brien was there as well as Wayne Krivsky. Obviously, the departure with Dan was not very amicable. Did you feel that when Wayne came in, it was a positive change? Do you feel like the players are more optimistic now or about the same or do you not really know? What are your thoughts on the direction that the organization is headed in since you were with the team?


First of all, let me say that although I was often around a lot of different things, I'm sure there was a lot of action that went on "behind the scenes" that I did not hear about. I hope that makes sense. So, with that said, I'll try to explain things the way I saw it. My first season was also the last season for Dave Miley and at that time Dan O'Brien was still the GM. Keep in mind that we also had guys like D'Angelo Jiminez on the team as well. Once Miley was fired and later O'Brien, to me, the attitude seemed to get a face lift. I think the players were glad to see guys like them go. It also seemed like a lot of the players were happy to see Jiminez go. Apparently he was some sort of "cancer" in the locker room. I'm pretty sure that Junior had nothing nice to say about O'Brien. He often mumbled comments about him that I picked up on. Griffey for the most part though, always kept a cool, calm attitude. He's probably one of the most spirited people I've ever met. Quite a funny guy too.

So, I don't really "know" how the players feel, but from a 3rd person perspective, I think that the team made a 180 when enthusiasm is concerned. I mean, if you have a guy in there that's making bad decisions and questionable moves, what do you have to be optimistic about? When Krivsky took over he began to make changes right away, or so it seemed. Even if they didn't pan out, at least their was an attempt being made which showed his concern. So, I really think that I'm basically speaking on how I see things and how I feel about things...but, I also think that the organization began to be just as optimistic.

The new ownership seemed to bring a sigh of relief too. When Lindner was still the majority owner, comments often floated around down there that "our ownership needed to spend money". So, the players weren't always happy about the way he/ownership was spending money. Will the new ownership be more concentrated on spending money to get some quality players in here? I sure hope so, because this team is just a couple players away from a shot at the playoffs.

fearofpopvol1
01-23-2007, 11:56 PM
Yeah, I figured you were probably a bit limited in what you knew, but nice to get your perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Do you hope to eventually end back up with the Reds? What is your dreamjob within MLB??

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 12:00 AM
Dream job? Well, let me explain it like this. I was always good at sports growing up, but never had the opportunity to play on an organized team, whether it was baseball, basketball or even football. So, I really need to make it in sports as a career to fill that void. Missing out on that growing up is probably one of my biggest regrets in life.

So, my dream job? I really want to work in Media Relations (hence the job at WCPO to build my resume) or Community Relations. I'll never be anything like a GM or "head honcho", but that's not my goal. There are a lot of different avenues I can take to get a full time career in MLB. I guess I'll learn more about which direction to go...as I go.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 12:16 AM
Here's a few more pics...

http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/5/web/449000-449999/449193_123_full.jpg

http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/5/web/449000-449999/449193_125_full.jpg



Another from Larkin's last game.

http://memimage.cardomain.net/member_images/5/web/449000-449999/449193_129_full.jpg

MrCinatit
01-24-2007, 07:18 AM
How did I miss this thread?
Great pictures...spectacular pictures, GC. It is great to see the up-close and personal pictures of the players.
And the stories about Griffey are great. Another reason why I love the guy.

gonelong
01-24-2007, 09:22 AM
You can keep typing stories until your fingers bleed, and then type some more. I'll read every one. :)

GL

registerthis
01-24-2007, 09:31 AM
What a great thread...thanks for sharing, Grounds Crew!

Chip R
01-24-2007, 09:39 AM
GC, what happened to the chairs?! We gots to know.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 10:23 AM
GC, what happened to the chairs?! We gots to know.

The chairs?

Red Leader
01-24-2007, 10:27 AM
The chairs?

The recliners that Dunn and Griffey, specifically, had in the clubhouse.

Do you remember that whole ordeal?

Do you have any stories involving those chairs and Dunn and Griffey, or the rest of the teams reaction to what happened?

Apparently management wanted the chairs removed and ended up putting them in the place of worship inside the clubhouse.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 10:32 AM
Oh, haha. I really don't know much more than the general public knows about that.

That reminds me of a few stories regarding the clubhouse though. Guys like Wily Mo and Felipe would come out to the dugout right before the games...smelling like a mountain of cologne, haha. I never understood why, but they always put on a lot. I guess that never made sense to me. They are both really nice people though. Wily Mo nearly broke my hand every time we shook hands. You guys can judge for yourself in the picture I have with him. I'm 6'2" 200lbs, and look how much taller he is than me. You should see him in batting practice. He's one of only a few people that I ever saw actually hit one OUT of the stadium, and even over the black batters eye building in center field. Sammy Sosa and Dunn were the other two.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 10:47 AM
Here's a few more...

A lot of people don't know this, but Griffey and Dunn go out at least an hour early EVERY day to do batting practice before the rest of the team. Usually Chambliss will pitch to them allowing them an extra hour to hit. Watching Griffey hit over and over for that long was always fun to me.


Griffey liked to mess with Freel a lot because of how small Ryan is. He'd put him in headlocks and rough him up, haha.


One memory of Griffey stands out in my head a lot. He went out early for batting practice one day but no one was out there to pitch to him. Why, I'm not really sure, but that's beside the point. My buddy Chris and I were out there ready to shag some fly balls so Griffey told us to go stand in the outfield and he said he'd throw the balls up and hit them out there. I was in Right field and Chris was in Center. Griffey was throwing the balls up and hitting them RIGHT to us. I didn't have to move a foot. The control he has hitting the ball is amazing. He'd go back and forth between hitting to each of us...and neither of us had to move. I thought that was very impressive.


I've seen my fair share of temper tantrums too after someone would strike out or was just not happy with their own performance. I've seen LaRue, Freel and Aurilia get pretty pissed at times. Other guys really know how to control it though. Oh, and believe it or not, Casey was always hard on himself. He's gotten pretty upset over lack of performance at times.


As for Casey, the guy is exactly like you've probably heard or imagined. He is incredibly nice and fun to talk to. The last game of my second year, which was his last game with us, he gave each and every one of us a crisp $100 dollar bill. What a great guy. He said that he loved the way our field was always taken care of and that he wanted to thank us with the money. Truly a great great person.

redsfan30
01-24-2007, 10:57 AM
Keep all the pictures and stories coming, GC!!!

This is a fantastic thread!

westofyou
01-24-2007, 10:57 AM
So... Grounds Crew.. ever hear about Matty Schwab down at field level?

redsfan30
01-24-2007, 11:02 AM
GC, let me ask you this:

I've always dreamed of being on the grounds crew in Cincinnati but I don't have any kind of formal training or a degree in turf management.

What are the requirements of being on the grounds crew? Are there any openings for people like myself who don't have a degree?

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 11:02 AM
I just clicked on another thread about Krivsky that made me think of something. I remember coming into work the day that Kearns and Lopez had been traded. I found out about it before it hit the media, and I must say that I was really surprised. I thought Felipe was gonna be our franchise SS. I really liked the guy and the fact that he really seemed to be filling Larkin's shoes nicely. At least that's my opinion. Kearns also was a great hitter and had one incredible arm in right field. He had his ups and downs because of his hand injuries, but the guy was gonna be great. My point is, not only was I surprised but I think a lot of the players were thinking, "you gotta be kidding me". But...whether the trade was ignorant or not, at least Krivsky was attempting to make changes, and change is what the team needed. I'm gonna forever miss those guys and wish we had them on our team, but maybe it will pan out. DoNorphia is looking like he's gonna be a good outfielder and hitter, but will he be better than what Kearns could've been? A lot of people seem to think so.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 11:15 AM
GC, let me ask you this:

I've always dreamed of being on the grounds crew in Cincinnati but I don't have any kind of formal training or a degree in turf management.

What are the requirements of being on the grounds crew? Are there any openings for people like myself who don't have a degree?


Well, here's my story and how I got to be a part of everything that I've mentioned so far in this thread. I graduated from Miami Univ. here in Ohio with a degree in Communications. I had no previous experience working with any sort of turf, nor did I have any education in that area...nor did I ever imagine that I would ever be a part of the ground crew. I was just like you guys...going to the games and seeing the crew down there, wondering, "wow, I bet those guys have so much fun", and I wondered how someone gets a job like that.

Well, after graduating from Miami in '03, I moved to Orlando to do an internship with Disney for 6 months. I thought that was the time of my life. I was even picked as one out of a hundred or more applicants from Miami to do that. How in the heck did I..of all people get so lucky? That's what I always wondered. Well, as the internship was coming to an end in January, I began sending my resume to the Reds in search of work doing the things I wanted to do (media relations, community relations). I was a fool for thinking that I could enter such an area directly out of college, but I sent my resume anyway. I got a reply from the Reds thanking me for my interest, but was told that nothing was available. So, I stayed persistent and sent another resume....and another a few weeks later. It was probably ignorant to do so, but I didn't care. I finally got another letter similar to the first one, so I began to give up. Then, finally I got a call from a lady in HR saying that she could probably get me on with the grounds crew. She explained that I could use it as a foot in the door, and as an opportunity to meet the people in the areas that I wanted to work. So, needless to say, I took it. At that time I was so excited, and I didn't even know that I'd be sitting in the dugout for every game.

So, it is hard to get into, and most of the guys return for the next year leaving no room for new people. As for me though, I guess my persistence payed off.

Now, three years later, I find myself wondering why I still haven't landed that full time position in the areas I have previously mentioned, and I get down on myself for that. Lately though, I have been grounded on the thought of taking such an experience for granted. I begin to think about the lack of money in my career to this point, but then I quickly realize that I have done something that thousands of people would love to do. It really was a great experience that I'll never forget. Here's hoping to that experience being the foundation to a great career. Thanks a lot for listening and I must say that this is a LOT of funs sharing stories with you guys.

By the way, I mentioned that while in Florida I thought that was the time of my life...who would've thought that I'd end up doing something that would top that. The ground crew also helped me meet people in the media, which in turn led to my job at Channel 9 for two years. So, the lady from HR that called me and got this started was right...it really did get my foot in the door. Now, I have a job with MLB / MLB.com that I start next month.

Sweetstop
01-24-2007, 11:20 AM
I enjoyed your pictures of Barry. Thanks.

TeamMorris
01-24-2007, 11:40 AM
Very, very cool!! Thank you for posting them:beerme:

TRF
01-24-2007, 11:56 AM
Has any poster ever gained entrance to ORG faster than Grounds_Crew is about to?

Great stuff.

shredda2000
01-24-2007, 12:01 PM
cool pictures...welcome to the board!!!

5DOLLAR-BLEACHERBUM
01-24-2007, 12:12 PM
Oh, haha. I really don't know much more than the general public knows about that.

That reminds me of a few stories regarding the clubhouse though. Guys like Wily Mo and Felipe would come out to the dugout right before the games...smelling like a mountain of cologne, haha. I never understood why, but they always put on a lot. I guess that never made sense to me. They are both really nice people though. Wily Mo nearly broke my hand every time we shook hands. You guys can judge for yourself in the picture I have with him. I'm 6'2" 200lbs, and look how much taller he is than me. You should see him in batting practice. He's one of only a few people that I ever saw actually hit one OUT of the stadium, and even over the black batters eye building in center field. Sammy Sosa and Dunn were the other two.
Probably covering up the wacky tobacky smell.

FutureRedsGM
01-24-2007, 12:29 PM
Has any poster ever gained entrance to ORG faster than Grounds_Crew is about to?

Great stuff.

Yeah, color me JEALOUS!!! Just kidding. This has been wonderful to read every day. I really appreciate the insight.

Now then, just another couple hundred useless posts from me and I'll catch up to ya!! ;)

Red Leader
01-24-2007, 12:36 PM
Yeah, color me JEALOUS!!! Just kidding. This has been wonderful to read every day. I really appreciate the insight.

Now then, just another couple hundred useless posts from me and I'll catch up to ya!! ;)

post some pictures or something. :dunno: :laugh:

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 12:37 PM
Well, I'm actually getting ready to head down to the Pirates stadium to have a few things taken care of. It is really a lot of fun sharing stories, so while I'm gone you guys should come up with any questions that you have and maybe I can answer them in a way that you can understand the "behind the scenes" aspect. As I mentioned before, I always wondered what it would be like to be so up close and personal...fortunately I was lucky enough to do what I did...so that means I can now give you guys a "look" at some of the cool things that go on.

Hopefully I'll come back to some cool and fun questions.

Red Leader
01-24-2007, 12:38 PM
Is there hazing involved as a rookie of the grounds crew?

smith288
01-24-2007, 12:58 PM
Well, I'm actually getting ready to head down to the Pirates stadium to have a few things taken care of. It is really a lot of fun sharing stories, so while I'm gone you guys should come up with any questions that you have and maybe I can answer them in a way that you can understand the "behind the scenes" aspect. As I mentioned before, I always wondered what it would be like to be so up close and personal...fortunately I was lucky enough to do what I did...so that means I can now give you guys a "look" at some of the cool things that go on.

Hopefully I'll come back to some cool and fun questions.
I think i might have missed it and im too lazy to look for it but what do you do for the MLB in terms of the Pirates?

IowaRed
01-24-2007, 01:26 PM
Great stories, great pictures. Any other stories about Casey would be much appreciated. Also would be interested in your interactions with other teams both positive and negative. Nicest guys, not nicest, funny incidents, harsh words between teams, your perspective of any on-field brawls.

KronoRed
01-24-2007, 01:30 PM
Great stuff :)

Northern Dancer
01-24-2007, 01:55 PM
This thread should be stickied. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and first hand accounts. As someone who lives so far away from the friendly confines of GABP, I'll be coming back to this thread on a regular basis. :)

Puffy
01-24-2007, 02:09 PM
Do groundskeepers have groupies and if so are they hot?

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 04:28 PM
I think i might have missed it and im too lazy to look for it but what do you do for the MLB in terms of the Pirates?

I'll be doing something called "sportsvision". It's a form of statistical media. If you've ever followed a game online, then you've seen what my job is responsible for. For instance, the online information is updated simultaneously as the game goes along (granted a short delay Im sure). I'll be following every pitch of the game and using certain equipment to "capture" that info/stats and the web will thus be updated for viewers at home. There's more to it, but that's the overview of it. I actually won't be formally trained until February.




Great stories, great pictures. Any other stories about Casey would be much appreciated. Also would be interested in your interactions with other teams both positive and negative. Nicest guys, not nicest, funny incidents, harsh words between teams, your perspective of any on-field brawls.


Casey was always tormenting us about the Steelers, since he's from Pittsburgh. There was a game that he wouldn't stop tormenting us about how "the Steelers are better", blah blah...so one of the guys I worked with went out in between an inning and wrote WHO DEY, GO BENGALS (or something like that) in the dirt around first base so that Casey would see it when he went out to play defense. He didnt see it at first, but after being out there for a few minutes...during the game...he looked over at all of us and starting laughing. Haha, that was a good one. The next day, I wrote something similar on a small piece of paper and stuck it in his glove while it was sitting on the steps in between innings (I posted a picture of where the players put their gloves and hats between innings)....Casey ran out to play defense at first base, and when he put his glove on, he found the piece of paper that I stuffed inside. Again, he looked over and laughed. So, he was always willing to play along with our sports "rioting".


There are PLENTY of stories I can tell...but I'll post them randomly rather than all at once.

I'll come back in a bit and write some more about different players that I met, and things like that.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 04:28 PM
Do groundskeepers have groupies and if so are they hot?

Haha...that was my hope going into the job!

mole44
01-24-2007, 04:59 PM
How are the mow lines so straight? Lame question I know, but I used to mow fairways, so I gotta know!

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 05:03 PM
How are the mow lines so straight? Lame question I know, but I used to mow fairways, so I gotta know!

Well, we start by laying a long string from one point on the field to another point on the field...then follow that string with the mower for the first "line"...then, the string is removed and for the other lines you can follow along each of the previous. I hope that makes sense.

It also helps that the mower is probably $15k give or take...oh, and it runs on diesel fuel :thumbup:

The infield is actually mowed using a hand mower...that doesnt have wheels on it! Haha...Toro makes some pretty cool stuff. A lot of people may not know this either, but the field is mowed daily when the team is in town...and every other day when the team is gone. It gets watered every night by an automatic system that is build into the field. The sprinkler heads "poke" out in several locations on the field...then they sink below the surface again when they are not being used.

RANDY IN INDY
01-24-2007, 05:16 PM
Don't the mowers have rollers that cause the grass to lay one way or the other, causing the effect that we see on the fields? We used to have an old Simplicity riding mower that had rollers, when I was a kid and I used to do some things with our yard (which was rather large and rolling) that would make it look like a golf course fairway. My dad would just shake his head and tell me that I needed to get a job as a golf course superintendent. Secretly, I think he liked the way that it looked.

Red Leader
01-24-2007, 05:19 PM
I always thought that each of the "stripes" were cut at different lengths, which caused the illusion of one "dark" stripe and one "light" stripe alternating. So, one "stripe" cut long, one cut short, one cut long, one cut short, etc, etc.

That's what I did to my lawn at home. Kept raising and lowering the blade height to get the effect.

Looked cool for a couple weeks but it was rough on my grass so I quit.

RANDY IN INDY
01-24-2007, 05:23 PM
I think it is cut the same length, just the grain of the grass being pushed one way or the other, to cause the effect of the "stripes."

Red Leader
01-24-2007, 05:26 PM
Oh, and yes, I am a hillbilly. :D :laugh:

RANDY IN INDY
01-24-2007, 05:29 PM
Oh, and yes, I am a hillbilly. :D :laugh:

Nothin' wrong with "Hill William's." I happen to be one.

RANDY IN INDY
01-24-2007, 05:30 PM
:D :beerme:

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 06:09 PM
I always thought that each of the "stripes" were cut at different lengths, which caused the illusion of one "dark" stripe and one "light" stripe alternating. So, one "stripe" cut long, one cut short, one cut long, one cut short, etc, etc.

That's what I did to my lawn at home. Kept raising and lowering the blade height to get the effect.

Looked cool for a couple weeks but it was rough on my grass so I quit.



Haha...no, you're buddy that posted before was correct. The mowers have rollers that force the grass to lay down facing in that particular direction. Here's an example, the mower travels from near home plate going toward the outfield. The grass would then be forced in that direction. The mower then returns heading from the outfield toward homeplate (basically the opposite direction) thus laying the grass in the opposite direction as the previous path with the mower. Each alternating pass with the mower results in the design that you see on the field.

Funny concept that you mentioned though. I enjoyed that! That's what you call compromising with what you got, haha.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 06:19 PM
Here's a more in-depth description of what I'll be doing for MLB.com.

I'll be an operator for the "sportsvision" system. The system tracks every pitched baseball, calculating its trajectory and break, for television broadcast, Internet broadcast and stadium video production.

Red Leader
01-24-2007, 06:59 PM
Haha...no, you're buddy that posted before was correct. The mowers have rollers that force the grass to lay down facing in that particular direction. Here's an example, the mower travels from near home plate going toward the outfield. The grass would then be forced in that direction. The mower then returns heading from the outfield toward homeplate (basically the opposite direction) thus laying the grass in the opposite direction as the previous path with the mower. Each alternating pass with the mower results in the design that you see on the field.

Funny concept that you mentioned though. I enjoyed that! That's what you call compromising with what you got, haha.

Man, and I thought I was doing it the "right way" all this time...:cool:

They actually have a video you can purchase (DVD) that shows how to cut your grass just like the professionals. Apparently my neighbors owns said DVD because his yard makes mine look like Fat Albert's hangout.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 07:25 PM
:griffey: says, "You could always show him up and by a $15k mower"

vaticanplum
01-24-2007, 08:20 PM
A lot of people don't know this, but Griffey and Dunn go out at least an hour early EVERY day to do batting practice before the rest of the team. Usually Chambliss will pitch to them allowing them an extra hour to hit.

Grounds_Crew,

I have some experience writing press releases. If you don't mind, I'd like to package this up in a nice release and send it to every media outlet in Cincinnati, with a notarized copy to Marty Brennaman. If we take up a collection we can probably swing a full-page ad in the Enquirer as well.

(I'm kidding. Mostly.)

Also -- you guys are all a bunch of starstruck groupies :D

Great stuff, thanks for posting.

remdog
01-24-2007, 08:22 PM
If McCoy didn't write Marty won't read it. :rolleyes:

Rem

Caseyfan21
01-24-2007, 09:26 PM
Thanks a lot for all the stories GC...they have been a lot of fun to read and I always enjoy getting an inside view of things. Two years ago Doug Gallant (head groundskeeper for the Reds for those who don't know) gave a little lecture at OSU as part of the freshmen lecture series. Anyways, we had a Q&A with him much like this and he was telling us how the management will come to him and ask for the infield to be different heights for different teams (higher for faster teams, etc). How often does the grounds crew get asked to modify the field like this and what other modifications are done?

Doug had also mentioned how much he liked the rookies and despised the veterans. In his words, he basically said Lark and Griff were always two of the biggest whiners about how the field played. Just curious what your opinion on this was?

BoydsOfSummer
01-24-2007, 09:31 PM
Could the cologne baths be a replacement for real baths? I remember reading/seeing something about either the European basket-ballers or hockey guys aren't as regular with the showers. A culture thing.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 09:38 PM
Thanks a lot for all the stories GC...they have been a lot of fun to read and I always enjoy getting an inside view of things. Two years ago Doug Gallant (head groundskeeper for the Reds for those who don't know) gave a little lecture at OSU as part of the freshmen lecture series. Anyways, we had a Q&A with him much like this and he was telling us how the management will come to him and ask for the infield to be different heights for different teams (higher for faster teams, etc). How often does the grounds crew get asked to modify the field like this and what other modifications are done?

Doug had also mentioned how much he liked the rookies and despised the veterans. In his words, he basically said Lark and Griff were always two of the biggest whiners about how the field played. Just curious what your opinion on this was?


Wow, you met Doug. That's quite random actually. He graduated from OSU, so that's probably why he was giving a lecture. He's right though, Griffey always commented on the field conditions. He would say it in a sarcastically funny manner..but he was mostly serious in his efforts. Here's the thing, Pitchers want the grass to be tall so that it slows the ball down when grounders are hit. Batters want the grass to be really short so that the ball skips across it and gets out of the infield quickly, thus allowing them more time to get to first. If the grass is short, they think the chances of the ball being fielded are greater.

As for management, they directed all of those concerns to Doug. We all just did what we were told.

For the record, Doug is a great person. I'm really thankful to him for the opportunity he gave me.


EDIT: By the way, Griffey often made really funny comments about the grass. Here's an example: He'd come out of the clubhouse and into the dugout early in the afternoon, wearing basketball shorts and a cut off t-shirt screaming, "yo...where the "heck" is Doug?" Haha, keep in mind he was being funny, not serious. Then he'd say, "Yo, I want this grass cut! If Doug doesn't get this "crap" cut, I'm gonna bring my own lawnmower out here and do it butt nekkid". Haha. He'd do this all the time. I always thought that is was incredibly funny. Doug would just laugh lightly and blow him off, haha.

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 09:41 PM
Could the cologne baths be a replacement for real baths? I remember reading/seeing something about either the European basket-ballers or hockey guys aren't as regular with the showers. A culture thing.

I don't think that's the case with Pena and Lopez. These guys are pretty boys. You should see them in street clothes. They are definitely into their fashion and appearance. I'm not saying that's bad, just mentioning that fact.

Yachtzee
01-24-2007, 10:36 PM
Here's another technical question for you. How difficult is it to mow special patterns into the grass? Do they give you a template or something? I'm always amazed when you turn on a game and see some logo or special tribute mowed into the grass. An example would be mowing the Wishbone C into centerfield. I've also seen the Red Sox mow the "pair of socks" logo into centerfield.

bucksfan
01-24-2007, 11:23 PM
I have not enjoyed a thread this much in a long time! Thanks for sharing GC. You were lucky to have the experience but, even better, you appreciate it!

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 11:40 PM
Here's another technical question for you. How difficult is it to mow special patterns into the grass? Do they give you a template or something? I'm always amazed when you turn on a game and see some logo or special tribute mowed into the grass. An example would be mowing the Wishbone C into centerfield. I've also seen the Red Sox mow the "pair of socks" logo into centerfield.

First of all, keep in mind what I said earlier about the direction of the grass results in the way it appears.

With that said, now consider this:

Patterns can be created with equipment ranging from reel type mowers, drag mats (kinda like the mats you see the grounds crew drag the infield with in between innings) and of course rotary mowers with rollers. Instead of a typical mower with a blade that works like a ceiling fan, all of the mowers we had were rotary. Even a roller squeegee made for water removal can be used.

HumnHilghtFreel
01-24-2007, 11:49 PM
First of all, keep in mind what I said earlier about the direction of the grass results in the way it appears.

With that said, now consider this:

Patterns can be created with equipment ranging from reel type mowers, drag mats (kinda like the mats you see the grounds crew drag the infield with in between innings) and of course rotary mowers with rollers. Instead of a typical mower with a blade that works like a ceiling fan, all of the mowers we had were rotary. Even a roller squeegee made for water removal can be used.

You just ruined my visual of a poor guy toiling in the outfield grass with a pair of scissors:)

Grounds_Crew
01-24-2007, 11:53 PM
You just ruined my visual of a poor guy toiling in the outfield grass with a pair of scissors:)



And a toothbrush? Oh, Oh...wait...and a cooler full of beer!

LincolnparkRed
01-25-2007, 12:16 AM
So I saw that you were helping update gamecasts and things like that. How come you have to go to Pittsburgh to do it? Was it a change of scenery thing or would it be too hard to move from the grounds crew to your current job within the reds??

Thanks for the pics/info

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 12:31 AM
So I saw that you were helping update gamecasts and things like that. How come you have to go to Pittsburgh to do it? Was it a change of scenery thing or would it be too hard to move from the grounds crew to your current job within the reds??

Thanks for the pics/info

My girlfriend is from Pittsburgh (unfortunately - damn Steelers) so I now live with her. Luckily for me I landed the opportunity to get the gig with MLB.

Caseyfan21
01-25-2007, 12:46 AM
My girlfriend is from Pittsburgh (unfortunately - damn Steelers) so I now live with her. Luckily for me I landed the opportunity to get the gig with MLB.

I'd say Pittsburgh is one of my favorite parks in the big leagues along with Detroit. My friends and I always try to make a road trip out there to catch either the Reds, Giants, or Indians (our 3 teams). However, I knew what kind of following the current Pirates team had when we went to the first fireworks night of the year a couple years ago. The stadium was pretty full and I was talking to another older season ticket holder telling him how surprised I was with the massive attendance on a bad weather night. He told me they always packed it in for the fireworks nights, best games of the year. :laugh:

919191
01-25-2007, 12:47 AM
Here's a more in-depth description of what I'll be doing for MLB.com.

I'll be an operator for the "sportsvision" system. The system tracks every pitched baseball, calculating its trajectory and break, for television broadcast, Internet broadcast and stadium video production.


Wow- I would get fired the first day- really bad attention span.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 10:07 AM
Wow- I would get fired the first day- really bad attention span.

You'd be surprised on how you'd react to a job like that. It's like getting paid to have season tickets!!!

Red Leader
01-25-2007, 10:15 AM
When you worked on the grounds crew, what were your normal hours? When would you arrive at the park and when would you leave the park, for night games / day games, etc. What was the longest amount of time you were ever at the ballpark? For instance, did you ever get to the park at like 3pm for a night game, have a rain delay and not leave until 2am, and then have to turn around and come in at 8am for a Sunday day game?

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 10:33 AM
When you worked on the grounds crew, what were your normal hours? When would you arrive at the park and when would you leave the park, for night games / day games, etc. What was the longest amount of time you were ever at the ballpark? For instance, did you ever get to the park at like 3pm for a night game, have a rain delay and not leave until 2am, and then have to turn around and come in at 8am for a Sunday day game?


Haha...you make it sound like THAT's bad. Here's an example of how it worked out. My first year there, I was ONLY working for the Reds and not Channel 9. So, I'd show up at the stadium (with about half of the rest of the crew) at 9am and we would work until the game was over. We'd end up leaving around 10:30-11pm. That's an example for a night game. Now, THAT's a long day.

At least a small portion of the crew shows up in the early morning to begin getting things done. Some of those things include the mowing of course. It was always done in the early morning. We patched the bullpens because they are usually tore up a bit. If the infield needed any work, obviously we'd take care of that, including watering it about every hour during the summer. That can get tedious. The foul lines (in the grass - not the infield foul lines) had to be painted on every 4 or 5 days/ It was done using a string to keep the line straight. Then we follow the line with a paint roller. Pretty simple huh! After that it was time to set up the cages and screens for batting practice, or as we called it "BP". Not only did we have to set up the cages and screens, but we had to chalk the baselines and put out the practice bases. We used separate bases for BP and the game. That didn't take long but when it's really hot outside, it feels even hotter on that field. Batting practice was fun because it either allowed you to take a brake or go to the outfield and shag the balls that were hit. I also avoided that when it was REALLY hot. Between 3-5pm the rest of the crew would arrive and help with whatever else needed done. They were basically there for game time duties. As soon as BP was over, we clear the equipment from the field and get the field ready for the game. That included chalking the baselines again and sweeping the infield. Last but not least, we replaced the practice bases with game bases and watered the infield/mound/home plate one more time.


Keep in mind if a rain delay happened that we wouldn't get out of there sometimes until after midnight...then had to return the next day at 9am after working over 12 hours. I don't wanna make it sound like it wasn't fun though. Although there were days that it was a bit tiring, I never hated it...ever! It didn't seem like "work". Once the game started, we sat in the dugout and watched the entire game.


Another thing that you probably don't think about is that we have "rain delays" in the mornings and afternoons too...before the night games even started. If we were getting the field ready and rain arrived, we'd have to hustle and get the tarp out...with only half (or less) of the crew. There were times that we would pull that tarp out and put it away 10 times a day. Those are the days that it would get stressful. That tarp gets INCREDIBLY heavy with an inch of rain on it and only a few people pulling it.


Day games weren't bad. We'd show up at 9am, hurry to get the field ready and set up batting practice. BP on day games doesnt last as long. Then, we'd get the field "game ready" and proceed to watch the game from the dugout. Day games were actually a relief at times because we'd get to leave around 4ish.


With all of that said, imagine how it felt doing that for a 10 game home series.

TRF
01-25-2007, 11:18 AM
You'd be surprised on how you'd react to a job like that. It's like getting paid to have season tickets!!!

I used to be a television director. I directed 10:00 newscasts. After work, I'd come home and my wife would ask about a story we ran and my answer almost always was "I have no ide what you are talking about."

I think to get focused properly to do this kind of job means you can't "enjoy/watch" the game. You'll have to focused on every pitch, you won't get to notice the batter as much. I'm just guessing, but I think there are parts of the game you will miss, because you have to in order to do the job.

Still, I'd trade places with you in a heartbeat.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 11:27 AM
I worked in television for two years as well....as you have probably already read in this thread. So, I know what it's like to not really know what's going on news wise because of having to focus on what you are doing rather than the story being told.

redsfan30
01-25-2007, 11:48 AM
What kind of work is done to keep the field up during the winter months?

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 11:51 AM
What kind of work is done to keep the field up during the winter months?

The ENTIRE field, grass and dirt, is covered. I can't explain the material of the cover, but it is used to trap heat (as much as possible anyway) underneath but yet it still allows water to get through to the grass.

If it snows, the snow is removed immediately. The cover comes off in early March and is mowed for the first time. The first time it gets mowed it looks AWESOME. I love the way that grass looks and feels at the beginning of the season.

Red Leader
01-25-2007, 11:56 AM
Were you guys responsible for upkeep of the grass outside of the field itself? Like the grassy area in front of the batter's eye, the grass outside the stadium by the monuments, etc?

Just curious to hear if you guys took care of that, too, or if was another crew.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 12:05 PM
Were you guys responsible for upkeep of the grass outside of the field itself? Like the grassy area in front of the batter's eye, the grass outside the stadium by the monuments, etc?

Just curious to hear if you guys took care of that, too, or if was another crew.



Yes...every few days or so those areas were mowed and trimmed. The guys who come in during the morning take care of that.

redsmetz
01-25-2007, 12:08 PM
The ENTIRE field, grass and dirt, is covered. I can't explain the material of the cover, but it is used to trap heat (as much as possible anyway) underneath but yet it still allows water to get through to the grass.

If it snows, the snow is removed immediately. The cover comes off in early March and is mowed for the first time. The first time it gets mowed it looks AWESOME. I love the way that grass looks and feels at the beginning of the season.

My son who is now 18 had to write a Mother's Day card when he was about seven or eight. He wrote, among other things, you are as pretty as a freshly cut baseball field. His teacher was also a baseball fan (whose dad had worked as an usher at Reds games!) and she wrote on there, that is high praise indeed.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 12:11 PM
My son who is now 18 had to write a Mother's Day card when he was about seven or eight. He wrote, among other things, you are as pretty as a freshly cut baseball field. His teacher was also a baseball fan (whose dad had worked as an usher at Reds games!) and she wrote on there, that is high praise indeed.


You, my friend, just gave me an idea for a Valentine's Day card! Haha... :beerme:

redsmetz
01-25-2007, 12:16 PM
You, my friend, just gave me an idea for a Valentine's Day cad! Haha... :beerme:

Well, let's hope the CARD doesn't make you a "cad"! :eek:

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 12:19 PM
Well, let's hope the CARD doesn't make you a "cad"! :eek:

Haha...nice catch.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 12:59 PM
No more questions? This thread has gotten me into a baseball mood big time.

IowaRed
01-25-2007, 01:10 PM
Any stories about the postgame high five line with the players? Hope I didn't miss it but did you talk about experiences with other teams players or brawls?

redsfan30
01-25-2007, 01:26 PM
Did you have access to the clubhouse at all? Could you be in before or after a game?

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 01:49 PM
Any stories about the postgame high five line with the players? Hope I didn't miss it but did you talk about experiences with other teams players or brawls?


At that point, we were still in the dugout getting ready to head onto the field and do some post game duties. I never really got up close to what went on in that portion of the game. I will say that after a walk off HR or some sort of game winning hit, the dugout area would go absolutely nuts. Those guys would go crazy. It's neat to see it from the stands when they run out on the field to wait for the game winning hitter to reach home plate...but hearing them go crazy in the dugout is a completely different story. It's awesome. I never really would've imagined that I would experience such a thing.



Did you have access to the clubhouse at all? Could you be in before or after a game?


We never really went in there, although I have been in there at times briefly. Griffey took me in when he signed a couple jersey's that I had. I was never in there after the game to see any kind of excitement or disappointment though.

justincredible
01-25-2007, 02:26 PM
Awesome pictures and stories! I'm going to have to start forcing my resume on the Reds and hopefully I can manage to snag one of these jobs like you did. ;)

So how many hours a week would you put in on average during the season? (I hope I didn't overlook you answering that already) I can imagine those 14 hour days would get pretty tiring. I did work up in Boston one summer and we worked 5pm-7am most of the time and it was pretty rough. It also wasn't nearly as fun as I would imagine your job was. We were crawling through 100 year old, 24" natural gas pipe and sealing it from the inside at every joint. Talk about glamorous!

Also, if you don't mind me asking, what kind of pay does the grounds crew get?

Another quick question that I didn't see before, did you ever come across a player that was just a total jerk? I know you said you ran in to Bonds, but anyone else, Reds or opposing team?

redsfan30
01-25-2007, 02:35 PM
Another quick question that I didn't see before, did you ever come across a player that was just a total jerk? I know you said you ran in to Bonds, but anyone else, Reds or opposing team?

Great question!

FutureRedsGM
01-25-2007, 02:53 PM
Would it have been considered taboo for an ordinary guy to ask pitching tips from one of the staff? Would they have made time to answer your questions?

Did you feel like a Schmo asking for autographs? Did any of the players offer things to you (hey, you want a bat?)?

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 03:14 PM
Awesome pictures and stories! I'm going to have to start forcing my resume on the Reds and hopefully I can manage to snag one of these jobs like you did. ;)

So how many hours a week would you put in on average during the season? (I hope I didn't overlook you answering that already) I can imagine those 14 hour days would get pretty tiring. I did work up in Boston one summer and we worked 5pm-7am most of the time and it was pretty rough. It also wasn't nearly as fun as I would imagine your job was. We were crawling through 100 year old, 24" natural gas pipe and sealing it from the inside at every joint. Talk about glamorous!

Also, if you don't mind me asking, what kind of pay does the grounds crew get?

Another quick question that I didn't see before, did you ever come across a player that was just a total jerk? I know you said you ran in to Bonds, but anyone else, Reds or opposing team?


Whoah...when I first read your post and your screen name I was kinda weirded out because a few of my other screen names (on other sites and AIM) are the same as what yours is. Haha...so at first I thought, did I register twice on here? Haha....


I'll try to answer your question about players...

Dontrelle Willis. He's really a down to earth guy. He'd be warming up before the game in the bullpen and before he'd go out to take the field he'd bump knuckles with us.

Juan Pierre. He's always been one of my favorite players. During the middle of the 5th inning we replace bases. I was out there changing second base and Pierre was out there. The song "America the Beautiful" came on and I was standing next to Juan. After the song we talked for about 30 seconds and he was also genuinely nice.

Jim Edmonds. I talked to him during BP one day. It was the day after he robbed Jason LaRue of a HR in center field. It was a few years ago, my first year. It was an incredible catch with Edmonds climbing the wall. I talked to him about it and told him that it was one of the nicest plays I had ever seen and he was really humble about it. He really appreciated the comment.

Griffey. He is one of the nicest and funniest guys I've ever met, but at the same time I've seen him get pissed at people, especially rude and ignorant fans who yell unnecessary comments. He really is a good guy though who is always out to make someone else laugh. I've had some long conversations with Griff...some of them serious and others just for a laugh. I rode in two of his cars when he picked me up while I was walking to the stadium. I've talked to him about women, sex, life, money, you name it. Hard to believe that I've talked to him about so much seeing how I grew up idolizing him.

Dunn is a big kid, seriously. He's always joking and carrying on like a teenager. I don't mind it though, he's having fun! He's nice and down to earth, but he knows who he is if that makes sense. He has a sense of arrogance to him. I guess that's expected.

Jason LaRue was always nice to me and even gave me 4 tickets to see the Reds play at Wrigley. He's a hometown country boy, BIG TIME. He wears a John Deer camo shirt during BP and even under his jersey during the games. He was always willing to sign autograph's for me when I needed them for friends/familiy. He is really quiet though.

Wily Mo. I got along with him really well. He always talked to me and brought me junk food from the clubhouse. They get a LOT of that stuff, trust me. He was a lady's man and always invited me to go to the bars with him. Haha.

Felipe Lopez. Just like Pena and just as nice. I really liked him and hated to see him go. The ladies loved him, but he's apparently happily married. He has two little girls that are really adorable.

Juan Castro. Another truly stand up guy. He ALWAYS offered free tickets to us for road games. I have his game worn hat from my first year, he autographed it for me too. He's one of those guys that would always ask how you're doing and such.

Ryan Freel. This guy is all hustle and you already know it. He's nice, but moody. He used to rub my head a lot since I shave it. He'd give it a "noogie" before going out on the field sometimes.

Aaron Harrang. Awesome guy. Really nice and always willing to sit down and have a conversation. He's real.

Larkin. He was kinda quiet too and moody at times. He was nice though as were the rest of the guys. My first year down there Lark made the all-star team. I was in the dugout by myself during early one afternoon when Lark walked up and sat down on his cell phone. He had just gotten the call from MLB telling him he was selected for the all-star game. He got off the phone and looked at me with a huge smile and said, "shhhhh...I just made the all-star team". That was pretty sweet to witness.

Aurillia. He was moody a lot. He almost seemed high maintenance. I think he's a good athlete though, but his temper at times made me think less of him...although he was always very polite if he ever needed anything.

Hmmm....who else...

Pujols. I didnt really speak to him, just said hello and shook his hand.

Samy Sosa. He always seemed to have an entourage with him. He always had guys down on the field with him all decked out in expensive clothing. I recall seeing him in BP one day and his bat broke...he immediately picked up the pieces and went into the clubhouse...hmmmm.

I've really met a LOT of people...if you have anyone in particular you wanna ask about then go ahead.


I'll think of more too...

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 03:18 PM
Would it have been considered taboo for an ordinary guy to ask pitching tips from one of the staff? Would they have made time to answer your questions?

Did you feel like a Schmo asking for autographs? Did any of the players offer things to you (hey, you want a bat?)?



As for the first question...not at all. They wouldn't mind one bit. In the afternoons before and during batting practice we got to interact a lot. The guys were usually willing to talk, especially if they were sitting in the dugout ( we sat in the dugout a lot and just hung out with them).

Asking for autographs wasn't bad at all. I didn't do it much, but they all understood and I think they secretly took it as a compliment. Usually if I was getting an autograph it would be for a family member....but I hardly ever did it. I do though have some good stuff, an autographed team ball, game worn hats that are autographed, game used bats ( a couple - but not signed ), and even a couple authentic jersey's signed by Junior. Generally though, they didn't mind. I also have some of their used batting gloves and wrist bands. I kept it just to have something to look back on.



EDIT: Oh, they also get a LOT of free stuff like shoes, Nike Shox especially. I was talking to Ryan Wagner a couple years ago about his New Shox. I told him that I really liked them. So, he said, "what size do you wear?" I told him that I wear a size 13, so he said, "I'll be right back". I didn't really know what he meant by that but a few minutes later he came back with an almost brand new pair and gave it to me. Apparently he wears the same size, haha.

cumberlandreds
01-25-2007, 03:47 PM
Great stories! Keep them coming! BTW I hope you never shook hands with Moises Alou!:D

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 03:48 PM
Great stories! Keep them coming! BTW I hope you never shook hands with Moises Alou!:D

Haha...Nope..and I know what you're talking about!

cumberlandreds
01-25-2007, 03:58 PM
Are there any "juicy" steriod rumors or first hand sightings of steriod use you can share about any Reds or other players?

Caseyfan21
01-25-2007, 04:01 PM
This thread has got to go down as one of the most fun and entertaining reads on this site in a long while. I've been reading this site pretty regularly since 2001 or so and I can't recall any other thread that has brought so many smiles to my face and I was so excited to see updated. I really love to see what players are like off the field and in person. I mean, we all have notions of what we think players are like and I'm pretty surprised after reading that last post it seems like quite a few of mine were true.

GC, you really made a splash here with your first thread, hope you can keep it up (or maybe just never leave this thread). ;)

GC - Did you ever have much interaction with Marty & Joe? Any good stories from them?

Ltlabner
01-25-2007, 04:06 PM
This thread has got to go down as one of the most fun and entertaining reads on this site in a long while. I've been reading this site pretty regularly since 2001 or so and I can't recall any other thread that has brought so many smiles to my face and I was so excited to see updated.

Here hear!

Sometimes all of the debating, arguing and posturing can get a bit old (but that's the bread and butter of RA - I'm not knocking it).

But to hear unadulterated excitement for the greatest game on earth is refreshing.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 04:07 PM
This thread has got to go down as one of the most fun and entertaining reads on this site in a long while. I've been reading this site pretty regularly since 2001 or so and I can't recall any other thread that has brought so many smiles to my face and I was so excited to see updated. I really love to see what players are like off the field and in person. I mean, we all have notions of what we think players are like and I'm pretty surprised after reading that last post it seems like quite a few of mine were true.

GC, you really made a splash here with your first thread, hope you can keep it up (or maybe just never leave this thread). ;)

GC - Did you ever have much interaction with Marty & Joe? Any good stories from them?


I'm gonna leave the steroid comment alone, haha. I haven't seen or heard anything, seriously...and if I did I wouldn't say anything and possibly jeopardize my career.


But....as for Marty and Joe...Marty is Marty. He's very critical of our team, and everyone has heard it on the air. He's down on the field interacting with media and players in the afternoon. He's a pretty animated guy, but really nice for the most part. It's especially different to hear that "voice" face to face after growing up just hearing it on the radio waves.

As for Joe, he is getting really old. He has a really hard time getting around and often sits rather than stands. He moves slowly, but he still smokes. He may have quit since the last time I saw him, but he smoked a lot. He was nice though. I grew up in Fairfield and often went to the Joe Nuxhall batting cages in Joyce Park. They have since been shut down. So, I had to mention that to him and let him know how much that meant to my childhood. Apparently they sold the space and whoever bought it didn't keep it running...unfortunately.

I always wanted to get an autographed photo of them...there is a really nice photo of the two for sale in the merchandise store, but I never got around to doing it. Why? Who knows.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 04:08 PM
This thread has got to go down as one of the most fun and entertaining reads on this site in a long while.



Apparently a lot of people agreed and granted me with quite a few reputation points! Thanks! :beerme:

Red Leader
01-25-2007, 04:14 PM
Grounds_Crew, can you make any comments on the music the players listen to, or have you overheard any comments by players about each other's at-bat music?

Caseyfan21
01-25-2007, 04:17 PM
I always wanted to get an autographed photo of them...there is a really nice photo of the two for sale in the merchandise store, but I never got around to doing it. Why? Who knows.

I feel the same way. I always wanted to get something autographed by both of them together but I always kept putting it off saying to myself "I'll always have another chance, they aren't too hard to get autographs from." Then when Joe retiring looked more and more realistic I finally got one of the old Kahn's cards autographed from both of them. I wish I had a really nice framed picture as well because those are two voices from my childhood that I will never forget.

For anyone that cares, a few years ago I sent Joe a letter through the mail (using one of those books that have player's home addresses). I just expressed how much I enjoyed listening to him and Marty and included 2 cards I had from his playing days. He not only signed my 2 cards, he included 2 more and a postcard with a black and white picture of himself on it. The postcard seemed like one of those teams would give out back in the older days...not entirely sure but it was definately older. He autographed that on the front as well and on the back he wrote "Thank you for the nice letter." I sent my letter out on a Monday and received his letter back with the extra cards, post card, (and additional postage) on Friday of the same week.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 04:19 PM
Grounds_Crew, can you make any comments on the music the players listen to, or have you overheard any comments by players about each other's at-bat music?


Well, for the most part they can pick the music that they want. If you ever go to a game and every player seems to have a really odd song when they go up to bad...it's because Griffey told the audio guys to do it in order to embarrass the other guys, haha. I saw Griffey laughing at times, so I asked him about it and he told me he put them up to it.

Also, if you ever pay attention...the grounds crew has their own music too! :dancingco . Sometimes it's the theme to the A Team, and other times it's the song from Rocky when he's climbing the steps.

Wyatt Earp
01-25-2007, 04:57 PM
Just curious as to what the pay is to do a job like the grounds crew?

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 05:05 PM
Just curious as to what the pay is to do a job like the grounds crew?


I'm not really allowed to say, but I'll tell you this much. Each team pays differently and some grounds crews have unions. So, with that said I'll also say that some guys can make quite a bit of money while other's don't earn much at all. Essentially though, for guys like me out there, regardless of the pay, the experience is more valuable.

I can tell you that some guys on the Pirates make around $50k year with about 10 years experience, and they aren't head groundskeepers.

Super_Barry11
01-25-2007, 05:11 PM
I just wanted to add my thanks to you, GC, for this fun thread. I've gotten to meet a bunch of the players, but mainly for autographs and pictures, so it was very brief. You get to see a whole different side of them, which I think is pretty interesting. I'm glad to see that my first impressions of players like Larkin, Casey, Harang, Castro, Freel, and LaRue were correct. :)

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 05:43 PM
I also forgot to add in that I busted my butt on the field during a rain delay once...in front of EVERYONE on the first base side. Needless to say, I got quite a bit of cheer from that.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 05:52 PM
Help me keep this thread going everyone. I don't want to be the only one posting in here! :beerme:

cinredsfan2000
01-25-2007, 07:04 PM
Great thread G.C. I had a simillar experience when i was 15 i worked for the White sox AA team at the time .Got to experince alot the same things you got to ala shag fly balls hang out with players etc.. it was a pretty cool experience .Basically we were the clean up crew for the ball park show up in the morning and clean up under the bleachers etc. The Sox didnt have a lot of guys on the roster that wound up on the big league roster that year .I only remember Ron kittle and Darryl Boston making it to the big leagues .

Shaknb8k
01-25-2007, 07:28 PM
If you dont mind could you go down an ordinary day? Like what time you got there and left? How day games differed from night games?

Also where you there for the 2005 Opening Day?

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 07:31 PM
If you dont mind could you go down an ordinary day? Like what time you got there and left? How day games differed from night games?

I already did that...I think on page 6 perhaps. If you wanna know more than what I wrote then just let me know.

vaticanplum
01-25-2007, 07:31 PM
You have not mentioned Scott Hatteberg!!

Not to put a damper on an entertaining thread, but is it ok for you to be talking about this stuff? The details of your job are one thing, but the players?

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 07:53 PM
You have not mentioned Scott Hatteberg!!

Not to put a damper on an entertaining thread, but is it ok for you to be talking about this stuff? The details of your job are one thing, but the players?

Well, I'm not saying anything that isn't true. The guys were all nice for the most part. If anything is asked about something I don't want to answer I'll just simply avoid it.


EDIT: As for Hatterberg, he's also really nice...but also quiet. I for one think he's a great athlete that lives on fundamentals.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 08:00 PM
For those of you reading this now...I just found another folder with a TON of pictures in it. Look later and I should have a lot more for you guys to look at. I'll change the title of the thread so reflect the update.

Caseyfan21
01-25-2007, 08:36 PM
You have not mentioned Scott Hatteberg!!

Not to put a damper on an entertaining thread, but is it ok for you to be talking about this stuff? The details of your job are one thing, but the players?

Just as back up for him being allowed, when Doug Gallant gave the lecture and he freely talked about players when people asked. Not just nice stuff, he told us the players he really didn't like and why he didn't like them. I remember sitting through that lecture thinking "Wow, I hope no one from the media is here that will report some of the stuff he has said."

Yachtzee
01-25-2007, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the updates GC. I enjoy your stories about Griffey. From everything I've heard about him from people who've met him personally, he's always sounded like someone who genuinely loves life. I always enjoy being around people like that, because it can be really infectious and brings joy to the others around them. I respect him a lot for that. It's not an easy thing to do, no matter who you are or what you do.

On another note, when I took my oldest son to his first ballgame when he was 6 mos. I had bought him this children's scorebook for keeping score for all the games he attends and it has a page for authographs. We went down to the field level before the game to try to get autographs. I've never been an autograph hound, so I was having trouble getting through the masses. Almost got Dunn and Kearns, but they had so many people pushing stuff in their faces that I didn't feel bad when they stopped signing right before getting to me. The nicest thing was that Jason LaRue saw me standing there with my wife and our son when he came over to sign and immediately reached over everyone's head to grab the scorebook and signed it for us.

Redlegs
01-25-2007, 09:37 PM
Great shots. Send more if/when you can.

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 09:45 PM
Great shots. Send more if/when you can.

I'll have another 50-75 pics up by tomorrow morning!!!!!! Some really good one's if you like the "behind the scenes" aspect. Check back.

macro
01-25-2007, 10:54 PM
I used to be a television director. I directed 10:00 newscasts. After work, I'd come home and my wife would ask about a story we ran and my answer almost always was "I have no ide what you are talking about."

I think to get focused properly to do this kind of job means you can't "enjoy/watch" the game. You'll have to focused on every pitch, you won't get to notice the batter as much. I'm just guessing, but I think there are parts of the game you will miss, because you have to in order to do the job.

Still, I'd trade places with you in a heartbeat.

I spent a fair amount of time inside NASCAR a few years back, and the stories Grounds Crew is telling about long, grueling days sound like the typical day in the life of a NACAR pit crew. The average fan has no idea what goes on in the hours leading up to and the hours following a race, or in this case, a baseball game. At the same time, the experience of standing around chatting with celebrities is something that one never forgets or gets tired of remembering or talking about...ever!

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 11:41 PM
Ok, here are some more pictures that I promised. I'll try to narrate along the way.


Here are a lot of pictures that were taken during batting practice a couple years ago. I apologize if some of them are a little bit blurry. Enjoy!

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0952_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0955_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0961_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0962_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0963_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0965_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0971_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0975_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0974_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0973_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0972_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0970_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0969_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0967_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0966_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0956_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0959_IMG.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0960_IMG.JPG



I have a LOT more....I'm gonna keep loading them....

Grounds_Crew
01-25-2007, 11:53 PM
Here's more...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0976_IMG_000.JPG
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0978_IMG_001.JPG

This is one of my favorites...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0979_IMG_000.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0980_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0983_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0985_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0990_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0991_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0992_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0994_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0995_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0996_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0998_IMG.JPG


Still...a LOT more to come...probably 50 or more....

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 12:01 AM
Harangatang...and Me!

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1004_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1011_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1012_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1013_IMG.JPG

Hahahahaha...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1016_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1020_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1021_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1023_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1025_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1026_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1029_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1030_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1031_IMG.JPG


Once again...more coming...

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 12:13 AM
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1032_IMG.JPG



Recognize this guy? In the suit...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1033_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1037_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1039_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1040_IMG.JPG


This next set of pics were taken from where we got to stand during the games, at the opposite end of the dugout. This is about 5 mins before the players take the field and they're in the middle of doing their pre-game hand shake routines.

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1041_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1042_IMG.JPG


Dunn ALWAYS soaks his head with a wet towel before every game.

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1043_IMG.JPG


Junior...probably getting ready to say something sarcastic to me...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1045_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1046_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1047_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1048_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1049_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1051_IMG.JPG

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 12:28 AM
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1052_IMG.JPG


I don't know if you guys have ever noticed, but Dunn and Junior always run out on the field together and then high five each other as they pass second base...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1053_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1054_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1056_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1057_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1059_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1060_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1068_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1071_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1072_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1076_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1077_IMG.JPG

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 12:35 AM
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1079_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1081_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1084_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1086_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1099_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1100_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/111_1101_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/111_1106_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/111_1109_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/111_1111_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/111_1112_IMG.JPG

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 12:59 AM
Come on guys...all of these pics and no comments? Haha, you guys are slacking...or maybe sleepin'.


This next set gives a really good behind the scenes look and come up close images of the field.

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/108_0897_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/108_0899_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/108_0900_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0901_IMG.JPG


Here's an up close shot of the bullpen...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0903_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0906_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0908_IMG.JPG


Here's where we keep a good supply of bases. Some of them still need cleaned.

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0913_IMG.JPG

Caseyfan21
01-26-2007, 01:02 AM
Great pics man. Those are ones you need to back up on a CD, external hard drive, and maybe even another CD. The picture of the bases was very cool. I guess I never thought about how they would keep the bases.

Keep 'em coming!

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 01:04 AM
http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0914_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0915_IMG.JPG


Pics of the indoor batting cage located behind the dugout.

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0916_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0917_IMG.JPG


A view from the Dugout

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0924_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0927_IMG.JPG

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 01:05 AM
Great pics man. Those are ones you need to back up on a CD, external hard drive, and maybe even another CD. The picture of the bases was very cool. I guess I never thought about how they would keep the bases.

Keep 'em coming!


Finally, some appreciation...haha, kidding. Do I earn more reputation points? I'm trying to set a record here!

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 01:12 AM
And...even more...I hope you guys are enjoying this....


Some close ups of the infield.

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0928_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0929_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0930_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0931_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0932_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0933_IMG.JPG

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0938_IMG.JPG


A lot of people probably wonder what this looks like...here it is...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/109_0940_IMG.JPG

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 01:42 AM
Ok....I'm headed to bed now. I have some more that I'm gonna upload tomorrow. See you guys then.

HumnHilghtFreel
01-26-2007, 01:56 AM
Finally, some appreciation...haha, kidding. Do I earn more reputation points? I'm trying to set a record here!

Awesome, I really like the more "behind the scenes" type pics. I'd rep you if I could:laugh:

Razor Shines
01-26-2007, 02:53 AM
Wow this is a great thread, great stories and great pictures. I love that picture of the clubhouse door.

Ron Madden
01-26-2007, 04:16 AM
Good stuff GC. :thumbup:

:welcome:

cumberlandreds
01-26-2007, 07:42 AM
Great pics again! I would give you more rep but it won't let me. I think I was the first one to give you rep when you posted the first set of pictures.
Did you have any interaction with the TV guys, Welsh and Grande?

BRM
01-26-2007, 09:39 AM
Awesome pics! Thanks for sharing all the great stories too.

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 11:06 AM
Great pics again! I would give you more rep but it won't let me. I think I was the first one to give you rep when you posted the first set of pictures.
Did you have any interaction with the TV guys, Welsh and Grande?


Yeay, I've been around them a bunch. George knew that I worked in TV so he took me up in the "booth" where they broadcast from. Now thats an interesting view of the field. Very different perspective.

Chip R
01-26-2007, 11:07 AM
Recognize this guy? In the suit...

http://img6.picsplace.to/img6/25/110_1033_IMG.JPG



I didn't at first cause he wasn't wearing leather pants. ;)

bounty37h
01-26-2007, 11:25 AM
I think I now have a man crush on Grounds Crew! Seriously man, that is awesome stuff, what an experience. I recently applied for a job with the AAA Durham Bulls, and after seeing and reading your expereinces, I am even more excited and hopeful it works out!

44Magnum
01-26-2007, 11:26 AM
Great stuff. Keep it coming.

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 11:31 AM
I wanted to change the title of the thread to reflect the update/pics, but it wont let me change the title that appears in the thread list. If a mod sees this, can you please help me?

I think that a lot of people won't know I updated and added 100 more pics unless they see a new title. So, help me change it....


I'll add more pics this afternoon by the way.

Red Leader
01-26-2007, 11:39 AM
I wanted to change the title of the thread to reflect the update/pics, but it wont let me change the title that appears in the thread list. If a mod sees this, can you please help me?

I think that a lot of people won't know I updated and added 100 more pics unless they see a new title. So, help me change it....


I'll add more pics this afternoon by the way.

I'm not a mod in this particular forum, but I think you'll be alright without the editing. Based on the rep points you've been given, a good number of people have seen this thread and will come back to check it out without an edited thread title. Those that aren't interested most likely still wouldn't be interested if you edited the title. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think it matters if the thread title is changed. Most have already seen this thread and will continue to come back and read updated posts if they are interested, just like any other thread here on Redszone.

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 11:51 AM
I'm not a mod in this particular forum, but I think you'll be alright without the editing. Based on the rep points you've been given, a good number of people have seen this thread and will come back to check it out without an edited thread title. Those that aren't interested most likely still wouldn't be interested if you edited the title. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think it matters if the thread title is changed. Most have already seen this thread and will continue to come back and read updated posts if they are interested, just like any other thread here on Redszone.



Yeah, good point.

macro
01-26-2007, 01:39 PM
I wanted to change the title of the thread to reflect the update/pics, but it wont let me change the title that appears in the thread list. If a mod sees this, can you please help me?

I think that a lot of people won't know I updated and added 100 more pics unless they see a new title. So, help me change it....


I'll add more pics this afternoon by the way.

I changed the thead title for you, Grounds.

gm
01-26-2007, 02:01 PM
The mowers have rollers that force the grass to lay down facing in that particular direction. Here's an example, the mower travels from near home plate going toward the outfield. The grass would then be forced in that direction. The mower then returns heading from the outfield toward homeplate (basically the opposite direction) thus laying the grass in the opposite direction as the previous path with the mower. Each alternating pass with the mower results in the design that you see on the field.

Were you there when the GAB infield was mowed to a "swirl" pattern that resembled the Portland Trail Blazers team logo? (I was wondering if there was a "story" behind that...)

Sean_CaseyRules
01-26-2007, 02:03 PM
Man as soon as I hit the 200 mark, I am going to rep ya! haha

redsfan30
01-26-2007, 03:09 PM
Just fantastic pictures....sure gets me in the mood for Opening Day!!!

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 04:20 PM
Just fantastic pictures....sure gets me in the mood for Opening Day!!!

I'm glad I could help everyone get in the mood for baseball. Thats the reason I made this thread....who woulda thought that it would end up being so highly viewed.

Red in Chicago
01-26-2007, 05:03 PM
Hey Grounds_Crew...A few years ago, there was a guy who would kick his legs up way in the air and take long strides on his way out to rake the infield dirt. Was that you? It really use to crack me up:laugh:

Grounds_Crew
01-26-2007, 05:07 PM
Hey Grounds_Crew...A few years ago, there was a guy who would kick his legs up way in the air and take long strides on his way out to rake the infield dirt. Was that you? It really use to crack me up:laugh:

No, that wasn't me...but last year during a few games we went out in the 6th inning and did the YMCA ... but we added a twist to it and made it kinda goofy...we actually got a really big applause from it. I felt like an idiot though...haha.

bengalsown
01-26-2007, 06:20 PM
Many thanks for the pictures. Great thread!

Unassisted
01-26-2007, 06:41 PM
I've enjoyed this thread, too. Now that I see how many cool photos you have, I have a suggestion.

You might save the board some bandwidth if you post these photos to Flickr or another free photo-sharing site. That way we can look at them in a slideshow and a big Internet company can pay for the bandwidth, instead of the owners of the board.

I used to work for the hosting company that hosts RedsZone, so I still remember the whining by the server admin over the bandwidth load and performance toll that these photo-heavy threads generated on his server. :)

Red in Chicago
01-26-2007, 07:03 PM
thanks for sharing all these pics and brightening up the winter blues:)

make sure you share some of your pirate photos with us later this year:thumbup:

indyred
01-26-2007, 07:31 PM
Great stuff Grounds Crew. How were the player's about there game used stuff. Did you score anything good. Are all the broken bats and stuff just kept to sell. Any idea on how many sets of jerseys each player got. Been in PNC Park twice and it's my favorite park.

bianchiveloce
01-27-2007, 05:33 AM
Grounds Crew, thanks for sharing your photos and stories. It really gets the juices in the belly flowing for Opening Day.

Are there any unusual superstitions or routines that Reds' players go through in getting ready for games? I know you mentioned the routine about Dunn using a wet towel on his head and Dunn and Griffey high fiving after they pass second base. Also, did you have any superstitions or routines you went through right before a game? Thanks.

StillFunkyB
01-27-2007, 10:20 AM
Oh brother, am I in a baseball mood now.

Time to go watch some games from last year. Maybe even play some MVP '05!

forfreelin04
01-27-2007, 10:23 AM
Did anyone else notice there wasnt anyone in the stands? Groundscrew, have you overheard any players griping about attendance? I always wondered how that affects a players mindset going into a game. Something about empty seats seems to just set a different tone.

BTW, thanks for posting these pictures and Good Luck in Pittsburgh!

Grounds_Crew
01-27-2007, 11:27 AM
How were the player's about there game used stuff. Did you score anything good. Are all the broken bats and stuff just kept to sell. Any idea on how many sets of jerseys each player got. Been in PNC Park twice and it's my favorite park.

At the end of the year, at the last home game, the guys just seem to give a lot of their stuff away. I have a couple games used bats and a broken one. Most of the broken one's get sold in the pro-shop. I really don't know what happens to the rest of them, but I imagine other people get to keep them, or the players probably give them away. As for the amount of jersey's they get. Well, I always wondered that myself. I'm not exactly sure, but I'll tell you this much. A lot of times I would notice patches or stitching on the players pants/jersey, so I'm guessing they probably only had one or two sets. I also heard from Berny Stowe (head clubhouse attendant/equipment manager) that all of the jersey's would come clean in one wash...except for Ryan Free'ls. They said that his uniform would have to be washed several times and that they had to use multiple cleaning items to get his to come clean. I think that's a great story that really reflects the way he plays on the field






Did anyone else notice there wasnt anyone in the stands? Groundscrew, have you overheard any players griping about attendance? I always wondered how that affects a players mindset going into a game. Something about empty seats seems to just set a different tone.



I never really heard anyone gripe about that, but you and I both know that things like that most likely come into play, and it's in the back of their minds. I will say this though. Those guys seem to really feed off of the crowd when GABP is packed. I know it sounds awesome when you are sitting in the stands and the crowd is in an uproar...but being in the dugout when it's really loud and 45k people are on their feet really gets your blood flowing. It's just a different perspective. All of that noise is so loud down there. I know I'm not a player, so by no means can I account for how it makes them feel...but it really does give me goosebumps.





Are there any unusual superstitions or routines that Reds' players go through in getting ready for games? I know you mentioned the routine about Dunn using a wet towel on his head and Dunn and Griffey high fiving after they pass second base. Also, did you have any superstitions or routines you went through right before a game? Thanks.

I imagine there is a lot of stuff that I never saw...but most of the guys have their "hand shakes" that they do. Those hand shakes must take forever to practice by the way, their really fun to watch. I know that LaRue wears a camo shirt under his jersey. He also has the names of his kids tattooed on his arm. I'm sure that has a special meaning for him as well. Brandon Phillips does something really cool too. When he's running up the steps to exit the dugout, he grabs a handful of dirt from the warning track and shakes it around in the palm of his hand as he's running. When he gets to the edge of the grass he takes a hop onto it and throws the hand full of dirt over his shoulder. I asked him about it and he's says it is just something he's done since high school. If you pay close attn, you'll also see that he does something when he gets up to bat. He places his bat on the edge of the plate, and moves it in a line. I also asked him about that and he told me it helps him find the proper place to stand at the plate. Another interesting thing about him is that every day in the afternoon he comes out in the dugout and sits on his cell phone for about 30 mins.

Grounds_Crew
01-27-2007, 05:40 PM
By the way, if anyone wants to make a journey up to see the Red's play the Pirates. I MIGHT be able to score some tickets for you guys. It will all depend on different things...but I'll gladly help out if I can.

Jpup
01-28-2007, 03:04 AM
What is the general feeling about the Wayne Krivsky, as far as the players and coaches? Were Dunn and Jr. obviously upset when he send Austin and Felipe to DC?

How about Todd Coffey, he seams like such a great guy. Have you talked to him much?

Redlegs
01-28-2007, 11:40 AM
Great pics. Beautiful shots of the park.

Grounds_Crew
01-28-2007, 12:14 PM
How about Todd Coffey, he seams like such a great guy. Have you talked to him much?



Haha...you'll love this story. Todd Coffey eats a banana and mayo sandwich EVERY day. Yes...you read that right. I think that is so nasty. He's actually a really nice guy too. He's also a down south boy from a small town. I asked him about the sandwiches and he just laughed and told me that he's been eating them since he was a kid. Now, apparently it's a tradition or some sort of superstition for him. A lot of the guys tease him about running onto the field during his relief appearances.

That brings me to think about David Weathers. Another really awesome guy. He LOVES sports, especially college football. He's a big Bama fan and he talks so much smack about them being awesome. He would always sit and talk to a bunch of us and tell stories or just shoot the ****. He told us that the guys in the bullpen really tease Coffey about running out like he does. Ha...I think it's great. Coffey really is one of a kind.


I'm gonna run to the grocery store but I'll come back in and tell some funny stories later today.

Reds Nd2
01-29-2007, 06:22 AM
Here's a more in-depth description of what I'll be doing for MLB.com.

I'll be an operator for the "sportsvision" system. The system tracks every pitched baseball, calculating its trajectory and break, for television broadcast, Internet broadcast and stadium video production.
Sounds alot like this job. Pitch f/x Operator. (http://jobsearch.mlb.careers.monster.com/getjob.asp?JobID=48885335&AVSDM=2007%2D01%2D07+06%3A04%3A52&Logo=0&col=dlt&sort=rv&vw=b&lid=28767) The Reds are now hiring for that position.

Grounds_Crew
01-29-2007, 11:28 AM
Sounds alot like this job. Pitch f/x Operator. (http://jobsearch.mlb.careers.monster.com/getjob.asp?JobID=48885335&AVSDM=2007%2D01%2D07+06%3A04%3A52&Logo=0&col=dlt&sort=rv&vw=b&lid=28767) The Reds are now hiring for that position.

It is that job...a lot of teams around the country have them...BUT...it's not hired BY the Reds (or any particular team), it's mandated by MLB.com/MLB Advanced Media.

It's a fairly new position, only a couple years old...I believe.

I'm also mostly positive that all of the positions were filled back in December too. They just haven't taken the postings down.

Redlegs
01-29-2007, 07:41 PM
It is that job...a lot of teams around the country have them...BUT...it's not hired BY the Reds (or any particular team), it's mandated by MLB.com/MLB Advanced Media.

It's a fairly new position, only a couple years old...I believe.

I'm also mostly positive that all of the positions were filled back in December too. They just haven't taken the postings down.

Grounds Crew, forgive me for being repetitive if you've already answered this question. If it's not too personal, what takes you to the 'Burgh and are you going to hook on with the Buccos?

Grounds_Crew
01-29-2007, 11:55 PM
Grounds Crew, forgive me for being repetitive if you've already answered this question. If it's not too personal, what takes you to the 'Burgh and are you going to hook on with the Buccos?


I travel to see the Bengals play when the road game is close. Since one of my friends is head of ticketing for the Bengals, I can get road tickets sometimes. They aren't the best seats, but I can get them at face value.

To make a long story short, we traveled to see the Bengals play the Steelers and I met a girl. We dated and traveled back and forth (4.5 hours) for 7 or 8 months. When the time was right, after the Reds season ended. I moved to live with her and to further pursue my career with the Pirates. Luckily, I landed the job with MLB.com. It's merely another stepping stone job, but a damn good one...at least I hope. It's gonna look great on my resume and I'll be one more step closer to getting to where I wanna be.

wally post
01-30-2007, 12:07 AM
Grounds Crew - I jsut want to chip in and say how happy I am to have your inside info. You are obviously a great guy and I (and am sure all of us) wish you all the success you desire!
Thanks so much - this is great stuff!

redsupport
01-30-2007, 12:12 AM
who was #45 in the picture?

Grounds_Crew
01-30-2007, 02:18 AM
Grounds Crew - I jsut want to chip in and say how happy I am to have your inside info. You are obviously a great guy and I (and am sure all of us) wish you all the success you desire!
Thanks so much - this is great stuff!

Thanks a lot. That's really nice to read/hear things like that. It keeps me from getting frustrated while trying to reach that full time career. Seriously, thanks!



who was #45 in the picture?

If you're talking about a picture from the first page...in the Larkin shots...that's Todd Van Poppel. Now, THAT's a name I haven't heard in a while.

Grounds_Crew
02-22-2007, 12:02 PM
I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for the season to begin. So, I had to take a look at my pics in this thread for some relief, haha. Figured that I'd make a reply in here as well to "bump" the thread back up to the top for you guys to get some relief too while waiting for the season.