A mix-up about which field was supposed to be treated with crabgrass inhibitor resulted in a Connecticut baseball stadium’s getting new sod.
The Waterbury Municipal Stadium was built in 1930 and had languished for several years before the city approved funding to have a new grandstand and dugout constructed.
In preparation for the upcoming 2016 Mickey Mantle World Series, the city was working on growing the infield and outfield grass.
The stadium had been scheduled to open in April, but then TruGreen crews mistakenly applied crabgrass preventer, which killed the grass.
TruGreen was supposed to apply the chemicals to fields at Kaynor Technical High, which is right next to the municipal stadium.
Because of the mix-up, a number of high school and college baseball games had to relocate during April.
The chaos left the president of the Connecticut Amateur Baseball Congress, Tony Santoro, uncertain if the municipal stadium’s field was going to be available to host the Mickey Mantle World Series in July.
“(It was) very disconcerting and wondering how we were going to handle it if the field wasn’t going to be available, what was going to be done and where we were going to have to look to play,” Santoro told News 8.
In response to the mistake, TruGreen sent this statement to News 8: “What started as an innocent mix-up (we were originally scheduled to treat a field down the road) has turned into a much bigger relationship with the city. Our goal was to not only rectify the situation, but to transform the field into pristine condition to help ensure the return of the Mickey Mantle World Series for years to come to the great city of Waterbury.”
TruGreen has ripped up the dead grass and plans to install new sod.
“TruGreen stepped up to the plate,” Santoro said. “They cooperated with everything and they are making it right.”
According to Mark Lombardo, Waterbury supervisor of parks and golf courses, there is a bright side to this error.
“We have an antiquated water system out there, so there was some money that we had left over from this project that we were able to go out to bid for and we are now going to be installing an irrigation system to have the field properly irrigated.”
The baseball field will be completed in June.