Snow removal a big job at Dow Diamond - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Snow removal a big job at Dow Diamond

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(03/06/14) - Professional baseball begins at stadiums across the state in about a month, but this cold and snowy winter presents a big challenge to grounds crews, who are clearing off the fields in time to play ball.

When it rains during a baseball game, the grounds crew rolls out the tarp.   

Friday, they'll be rolling out that tarp at Dow Diamond to help get rid of the snow.

There is a lot of snow inside the Dow Diamond - in the stands and on the field. With only about a month before the Loons home opener, head groundskeeper Nick Wolcott is tired of waiting for Mother Nature to warm things up a bit.

"The biggest concern is getting that infield uncovered and de-thawed," Wolcott said.

Wolcott and other members of the grounds crew have been busy trying to remove the snow and ice from the rolled up tarp, because on Friday, they plan to use it.

"We are going to put the tarp on the field over the infield playing surface, and we are going to pump some heat underneath it and try to melt the snow by ourselves, instead of waiting for the elements to do it," Wolcott said.

That will be for the infield and there will be a different strategy for the outfield.

"Sand, our top dressing sand, which is a darker color, which is going to draw in more sunlight as opposed to the white snow, just like you are wearing a dark shirt on a summer day, you are going to be warmer," he said.

Wolcott believes there is about a foot of snow and ice on the field, but he says it will be ready for opening day. Great Lakes Loons management hopes when this long, cold winter breaks, people will want to head outside.

"People have been frustrated by the weather that once we get some of that encouraging spring weather, people will want to be outside spending time with friends and family and we will be ready for them," said Great Lakes Loons President and General Manager Paul Barbeau.

The home opener for the Great Lakes Loons is April 8.

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