For the first time in nearly a decade, the playing field at the iconic Howard J. Lamade Stadium, home of the Little League Baseball® World Series each August, received a full resurfacing this off-season.
“Each year, our fields receive natural wear and tear beneath the surface that may not be visible to those watching from the stands or at home, and this year, Lamade Stadium’s field had an invasive species (annual bluegrass) invade much of the outfield grass which made it necessary for us to renovate the playing surface,” said Rob Guthrie, Little League® International Turf and Groundskeeper. “To ensure the fields are in the best possible condition each year for those children who get to play on them each summer here in Williamsport, we decided it was necessary to completely resurface the fields at each of our stadiums. Last year we had the opportunity to resurface the field at Volunteer Stadium, and this year had the chance to give Lamade Stadium a fresh look.”
The process began almost immediately after the conclusion of the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series to remove the invaded surface as Mr. Guthrie got to work on safely killing the remainder old grass before completely stripping the field down to its base layer. From there, Mr. Guthrie and his team level out the surface to bring it back to the original field level before placing a new layer of sand down. After re-grading the surface, the new sod is then placed down and Mr. Guthrie gets to work on preparing the field so it will be ready to go for another exciting Little League Baseball World Series next August in Williamsport. Along with the new sod, new irrigation heads were installed to assist with the field’s maintenance. In addition to the World Series, the Little League International Complex Stadiums are used throughout the summer for Little League Baseball Camp, as well as other select functions and activities.
“Overall, the process takes about four or five days to get the sod completely laid out,” said Mr. Guthrie. “Once everything is fully installed, we can get to work on making the final adjustments and get to work on making sure the fields are ready to go for next year.”
Named a 2018 Field of Distinction by the Keystone Athletic Field Managers Organization (KAFMO), Lamade Stadium was last renovated in 2009 when a sand-grid drainage system was installed beneath a sand-based layer of sod. In 2017, Little League International renovated the field of Volunteer Stadium which was completely reseeded, rather than sodded.