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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baseball with no dirt!

Posted Saturday, May 30, 2009, at 1:53 PM

Field Turf at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville T-G Photo by Jimmy Jones
Welcome from Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, Louisville Slugger and the University of Louisville, who are hosting their first-ever NCAA Regional baseball tournament.

Jim Patterson stadium is a first class facility with first class staff and a very unique characteristic in that it is one of only five baseball stadiums in the nation to use FieldTurf as their playing surface.

The only place on the field that is dirt is the pitchers mound. Imagine that! The only guy on the field that can get dirty is the pitcher!

The following is a company description of the playing surface as copy and pasted from their site.

The washed silica sand does not break down from use or heavy traffic. The cryogenic rubber is recycled rubber, frozen and shattered, creating smooth-sided spherical particles. As compared to 3 pounds of ambient rubber found in most other artificial turf, each square foot of FieldTurf contains 7 pounds of silica sand plus 3 pounds of cryogenic rubber. A base layer of silica sand is followed by up to 21 individual layers of mixed silica sand and cryogenic rubber and then topped with a final layer of specially graded cryogenic rubber which stays on the top of the infill system.

FieldTurf is the only system that uses sand and rubber in a «layered» design for quick cut and plant, speed and stability. FieldTurf is never spongy or soggy like «all-rubber» turf systems and provides a high rate of «energy restitution.» This exclusive infill provides superior safety, grass-like stability and better long-term resilience. FieldTurf does not require a separate shock pad to be "In the Safety Zone." Its shock attenuation rating and G-max are similar to the best natural grass systems in use today.

Wow! I must say that being an old school guy that I was extremely skeptical of the surface but after walking on it and talking with several players from three different schools I have become increasingly impressed with the surface.

The players to a man say that the field gives a true hop on grounders and that it does not appear to increase the temperature like the old turf did.

They also say that is not as abrasive to slide on as most dirt infields.

I have not seen one strawberry or scuffed up arm or leg yet after watching two ball games so it must be as good as advertised.

What do you think of dirt vs. turf?

Showing most recent comments first
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WOW, This stuff on the Louisville Baseball field sounds a lot like the Polytrack stuff that is on Turfway Park and Keeneland Race Courses. Field Turf sounds like it my replace the Kentucky Blue Grass. Let's hope not.

-- Posted by mtsufan on Sun, May 31, 2009, at 10:04 PM

As Advertised, is exactly how FieldTurf expects the sports consumer to react to their surfaces. In fact FieldTurf of Montreal Canada is widely considered the worst surface in sports.

FieldTurf is a very good marketing company began its climb to the top of the market by giving away fields to high profile facilities like the University of Nebraska. This is where the conjured up a story where Tom Osborn walked across the FieldTurf field and asked where the fake field was and the CEO at the time said that you are standing on it. It is a great story, but a complete lie. What happened was that the CEO of FieldTurf gave away a piece of the company to Osborn and he starting telling the NCAA world that FieldTurf is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

In a public arena this would be considered a "kickback" and FieldTurf would have been fined and Osborn would have been thrown in jail. But enough about the unscrupulous business practices of FieldTurf, which could go on for several pages.

The product, as stated is considered the worst product in the industry. It is also the cheapest to make, but FieldTurf sells it at a premium because of the perception in the market. FieldTurf loads their "carpet" up with 10 Lbs of infill, but their carpet is about 50% less materials then almost every other product in the market. Why would you ask? Because polyethylene fiber, carpet backing, and polyurethane backing are all products that cost a lot of money. Sand and recycled car tires are very cheap to buy and install in your product.

After much research ion FieldTurf's own website the average install of FieldTurf lasts 4.7 years vs. an advertised 12-15 years. That says it all!!!

A recent study that was completed by Michigan State University, my alma mater, concluded that a surface with MORE fiber and LESS infill is the closest replica to natural grass. This goes completely against every tenet of FieldTurf's product line.

I would suggest that anyone that reads this to go and look up actually third party testing that has been done, not studies that FieldTurf or any other company has paid for or orchestrated. Like the Texas study that FieldTurf says is unbiased but continues to pay the author of the study.

-- Posted by timlyddane on Sun, May 31, 2009, at 8:29 AM

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