The work before the play

PICTURE THIS

July 03, 2006|By PHOTOS BY KENNETH K. LAM | PHOTOS BY KENNETH K. LAM,SUN PHOTOGRAPHER

Dave Nehila, head groundskeeper for Orioles Park at Camden Yards, manages a full-time grounds crew of six people and a game-time tarp crew of 15. The grounds crew is responsible for the maintenance of the 2 1/2 acres of grass and dirt at the baseball field.

Some of the crew's efforts last longer than others. Crew members regularly repair the batter's box and pitcher's mound. But this is the first piece of work to be undone as hitters and pitchers dig in for better footing during a game.

Though the grass takes up most of the field, Nehila says the majority of their work consists of moisture management to keep the infield dirt playable.

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