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STMA Announces 2017 Field of the Year Winners
Twelve Professionals Awarded for their Work in Turf Management


In the professional baseball category, Keith Winter was recognized for his management of Parkview Field for the Ft. Wayne Tincaps.

The Sports Turf Managers Association announced its winners for the 2017 Field of the Year award.

Twelve turf managers across the nation were recognized for baseball, football, soccer, softball and other sporting playing surfaces at the professional, collegiate, schools (K-12) and parks and recreation level.

"With an increase in applicants year over year, we are ecstatic to see the growing number of outstanding sports turf managers continually raise the bar with the fields they prepare and maintain," said the CEO of STMA, Kim Heck.

Since 1992, the STMA has been awarding members for their work in the turfgrass industry.

Keith Winter was recognized in the professional baseball category for his work with the Ft. Wayne Tincaps. in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This is Winter's first time winning Field of the Year; he had previously been awarded Sports Turf Manager of the Year in the Single A division in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

"I'm very blessed to have an opportunity to do what I do in Ft. Wayne," Winter said.

After working 25 years in television, Winter made the career change in 2007 and is now in his 12th season of professional baseball.

He got his start in groundskeeping while coaching his sons' baseball when they were young and came to enjoy maintaining the field. Through practice and experience working on fields, Winter was able to learn what he needed to know about turf management.

Winter's involvement with STMA started during his first season in professional baseball with the Great Lake Loons and he has had an active role in the organization since.

"STMA has been instrumental in helping us share knowledge," Winter said.

As the heads groundkeeper, being a mentor for the next generation of sports turf managers has been an integral role for Winter.

"Watching them grow and develop is very rewarding, probably the thing I enjoy the most," he said.

An awards committee composed of 13 judges individually scored applicants on the criteria of playability, appearance of surfaces, utilization of innovative solutions, effective use of budget and implementation of a comprehensive agronomic program.

The winners will be honored at STMA's 29th annual conference and exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas in January and in a SportsTurf Magazine 2018 issue.

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December 7, 2019, 3:56 am PDT

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