Howard J. Lamade Stadium, home of the Little League Baseball® World Series since 1959, has officially been named a 2018 Field of Distinction by the Keystone Athletic Field Managers Organization (KAFMO). The award was presented to Little League® International Groundskeeper Rob Guthrie during the 22nd annual KAFMO/PRPS Athletic Field Conference in Grantville, Pa., on February 16.
“We are very honored to be able to call Lamade Stadium a Field of Distinction this year and proud of all the work that Rob and his team have put in over the years to earn such an achievement,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “This award is a testament to the countless hours of work, dedication, and commitment that goes on behind-the-scenes to make Lamade Stadium such a beautiful home to the Little League Baseball World Series each year. For that, we are truly thankful to Rob and his team of volunteers for everything they have accomplished.”
Field of Distinction honors are awarded annually by KAFMO to facilities that have demonstrated a dedication to providing safe and playable conditions for their users regardless of the level of play. Entrants must supply information on the type of facility, the uses of the facility that impact the playing conditions, the maintenance program, budget and staff. Photos of the field are provided to document the playability and appearance of the playing surface. The KAFMO Board of Directors judges entrants.
Originally called Howard J. Lamade Memorial Field, the field was first built in 1959 for the Little League Baseball World Series. It was later renamed Howard J. Lamade Stadium when the original wood and steel stands were razed and a concrete stadium was constructed in 1968.
Nearly 60 years after it was originally built, today’s iconic field features native soil with sand drainage channels running underneath it and a playing surface turf made with Kentucky bluegrass that is cut at one-inch.
Throughout the course of the year, Mr. Guthrie maintains the field with the help of two student interns while a staff of 20 volunteers from around the U.S. come in to help during the Little League Baseball World Series. Led by Mr. Guthrie, the staff follows an aggressive maintenance program to provide the best possible playing conditions.
“It’s truly an honor to be able to accept this award and to see Lamade Stadium receive such a distinguished honor,” said Mr. Guthrie. “I can’t begin to thank the countless number of volunteers that have dedicated their time and effort into making the fields on our complex what they have become today. Some of our World Series volunteers have been with us for more than 20 years, so that goes to show you how important this job is to be able to provide these kids with an opportunity to play on such a majestic field each year.”
Along with its most notable role as the home to the Little League Baseball World Series, Howard J. Lamade also hosts local Little League games, Little League Baseball Camps, an annual Father’s Day catch event, and more.
The Keystone Athletic Field Managers Organization is a group of over 300 individuals committed to enhancing the professionalism of athletic field managers in Pennsylvania. The organization’s goal is to improve the safety, playability, and appearance of all athletic fields in the state. KAFMO members represent school districts, colleges, professional facilities, park and recreation departments, youth leagues, educators, and commercial vendors. For more information on the Field of Distinction Award, KAFMO, or the awards ceremony, please contact KAFMO President Dan Douglas at 610-375-8469 ext. 212, or Dave Anderson, Awards Chairman, at 717-618-7029, or email to KAFMO@aol.com. Information is also available at www.KAFMO.org.