The Daytona Tortugas are making an upgrade to Jackie Robinson Ballpark for the 2019 season. The Tortugas, the Cincinnati Reds Advanced-A affiliate in the Florida State League, will be installing field turf before the season begins.

You may remember that last summer an entire series had to be moved to a local college after the field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark was re-sodded, but the sod didn’t take. This will eliminate that from happening in the future. The Daytona Beach News-Journal notes that the city will be paying for the field to be replaced at a cost of nearly $1,000,000.

The work will begin soon. Monday will be the first day that Astro Turf Company (yes, that is their name) begins their job in Daytona. They will be tasked with removal of the old field, installing new drainage, and then installing the new turf at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The work is supposed to be completed by March 1st. The 2019 season will begin for the Tortugas on April 4th at home against the Florida Firefrogs.

Right after the 2018 season ended, the Reds and Daytona announced an extension of their player development contract through 2020. That will have the prospects in the Cincinnati organization playing on turf at the Advanced-A level for at least the next two seasons. The Tortugas aren’t the only team in the minors which will play on turf. They will, however, be the only team in the Reds system to regularly play on turf.

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7 Responses

  1. Big Ed

    Playing on turf in the Florida sun ought to be fun. This can’t be good for players’ knees. And remember, all their pregame work is done on it, too, at peak heat.

    They need out of Daytona.

    • Michael Smith

      Field turf has a ton of give. Its not like playing on the old concrete.

      • Big Ed

        I know it is a lot better than the old stuff, but you will never convince me it as easy on the legs as actual grass.

        It is also hotter than grass, which won’t help in the summer.

      • theRickDeLux

        No two field turf fields are the same. I referee youth to adult soccer – which are sometimes set up on baseball turf fields – and some fields are spongier than the others. I prefer less spongy as I want more footing.

        They do get hot in the summer sun. But if this 44 year old man can run for 30-40 minutes on it, I think a bunch of twenty somethings will live for a half inning. Hopefully, the catchers and home plate umpires will stay hydrated. Hydration is key.

  2. AllTheHype

    A little odd that they decided they can’t grow grass in Florida. Maybe they first should have hired a golf course superintendent and fired whoever is managing the turf now. Golf courses have no problem growing grass down there.

  3. MK

    Are they replacing the dirt base paths and batters circle with turf? This will decrease Maintenance costs tremendously. They will recover costs of installation in two years. I have talked to a few guys that have come back to Dayton from there and it was definitely not one of their favorite places to play. Stadium was part of the reason. Kind of strange when they are happy to be demoted. When Sparks was rehabbing his wrist in 2017, they gave him the choice of Dayton or Daytona and he picked Dayton even though he had never played there before.

  4. Michael Smith

    Big Ed other than the 3 outfielders everyone else is on the dirt.