Former MLB groundskeepers come together with 4Most Sport Group

In response to the new regulations and standards established for Minor League Baseball (MiLB) ballparks in 2021, 4Most Sport Group has assembled a team of former MLB and MiLB sports field managers to create the SightLine Field Evaluation Program. The aim of this new program is to assist Minor League clubs in providing a plan for compliance with the new field construction requirements. The program’s experienced team of groundskeepers will evaluate the current condition of playing surfaces and set action plans to meet short-term goals that will standardize the professional playing surface and ultimately, provide more consistent playing fields for MiLB facilities.

4Most Sport Group is a design and consulting firm that emphasizes player safety through proper field design. A team of former sports field managers make up the firm’s board of advisors. The expertise and experience within this team makes it uniquely qualified to assist MiLB teams in meeting the new playing surface standards.

The 4Most Sport Group Advisory Panel is highlighted by former Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres groundskeeper Luke Yoder, former Texas Rangers groundskeeper Tom Burns and former Baltimore Orioles groundskeeper Paul Zwaska. Collectively, this board of advisors has more than 150 years of experience in design, new construction, renovation and maintenance practices. The reputation and respect already established by this team in MLB and MiLB circles, combined with the strategic partnerships developed through years in the sports field management industry, has already proven to be an asset to professional clubs throughout the country.

“This is a huge step by MLB to standardize the design of playing surfaces while maintaining the character of the individual ballparks. After my time as a groundskeeper in professional baseball, I can speak firsthand to the inconsistency in playing surfaces that I experienced. These new standards will ensure that all fields will be set up the same. We fully support these changes at the Minor League level, and I applaud MLB for taking this positive step,” said Tom Burns, DuraEdge Products.

“We want to use our expertise to support Minor League Baseball,” said James Beever, CEO of 4Most Sports Group and former professional baseball player. “These teams are trying to recover from COVID shutdowns while simultaneously planning financially to meet the new MLB standards. Our advisors can help map out a path to successfully gain compliance as baseball in America reopens.”

“Our ultimate goal is simply to bring clarity to what your existing field looks like now and exactly what needs to happen in the short-term to meet the new guidelines,” said Luke Yoder, currently senior VP of business development for DuraEdge Products and formerly a sports field manager at the major league level for 15 years. “Our team has managed ballfields at every level. We understand what it takes to maintain a high-quality field and how to build it right the first time. Our objective is to implement a plan to get through this transition by taking a custom approach with each field to be in full compliance for the long term.”

4Most will take a tailored approach to each individual field. The evaluation will review all aspects of proper field management including material testing, establishing grades, nutrient management and pitching mound measurement. The team will identify immediate or short-term repairs while also providing long term renovation plans with cost estimates. This program is also designed to provide support and mentoring as needed to less experienced sports field managers in Minor League Baseball.

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