To a baseball front office, these two little words almost always bring about a feeling of dread. It means that the head groundskeeper could potentially run through the office at any minute and drag everyone out for a tarp pull. It also means that rain is on the way.
In order to become a meteorologist, a person must complete at least a bachelor’s degree and graduate school spending numerous hours studying calculus, physics, chemistry and atmospheric dynamics before being able to say that he or she is a meteorologist. In order to become a groundskeeper the suggested fields of study are horticulture and sport turf management.
Even though he may not have all the hours of studying or the knowledge of reading all the different maps and screens, it seems that a groundskeeper predicts the weather correctly 95% of the time. The groundskeeper for the Reading Phillies is one of the best at both caring for the field and predicting the weather. He can look at the radar and know that in 30 minutes, it will start raining and he needs to gather his tarp crew. The majority of the time, his prediction is correct. It never ceases to amaze me how one person can take a quick glance at a map filled with green, red, and yellow areas and know that it will soon be raining.
When people talk about groundskeepers, they discuss how they take care of the field during both the offseason and the regular season and how much work they put into making sure the field looks its best. When I talk about groundskeepers, from now on I will be sure to include the term weatherman in my description.
Yours in baseball,