Prepping the park

It's a job that starts early in the morning and can last into the night.

The Tennessee Smokies' grounds crew starts around 9 a.m. mowing the field and watering the infield. They make sure the diamond is perfect when the first pitch is thrown out.

"We always monitor for holes especially on the pitching mound and the bullpens and home plate.. the players like to dig in for them to get a grip or the pitchers to push off," said head groundskeeper Anthony DeFeo.

It's DeFeo's first season with the Smokies, but he's been in the business of maintaining fields for around 14 years. It's a passion he found playing Little League.

"The coach would be giving us instructions and I'd be staring at the guy chalking the field and was more interested in that," explained DeFeo.

DeFeo and his crew do everything from chalking the lines, to washing the bases. It's a job that can go unnoticed by the average fan, or even sometimes the players, but there's an up-side too.

"You get to work and watch baseball where as a lot of people they pay to come out here and watch the games and it's part of our job," said DeFeo. "You know it's a great thing."


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