Heat, humidity growing on groundskeeper Weather seen as cure for field's splotchiness

July 22, 1998|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,SUN STAFF

The blisteringly hot, sticky weather is an answer to Vince Patterozzi's prayers.

The chief groundskeeper for the Ravens had been hoping for a hot spell to perk up the new field, which, until recent days, was pocked with brown spots and thin patches -- leading some to wonder if it would be ready by the first preseason game, against the Chicago Bears on Aug. 8.

"I was hoping for this about two weeks ago," Patterozzi said.

He's been watering the field heavily and, a few weeks ago, did some light reseeding, hoping to revive the grass from its winter nap. The half-natural, half-artificial field was brought over from Memorial Stadium in strips and augmented with some fresh growth trucked in from Florida.

But the Bermuda grass was hampered by below-average temperatures this spring. It loves the hot stuff.

"Now that we're getting the warm, humid weather, it's getting going," Patterozzi said.

The first test is coming up: Players will conduct a scrimmage July 30 for season-ticket holders.

"I'm more than confident that it will be ready," he said.

Pub Date: 7/22/98

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