DODGER STADIUM CHOSEN AS TOP PLAYING FIELD

Results of a poll in the July 7 issue of Sports Illustrated showed that 23.2 percent of the players who responded chose Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles as having the best-quality playing field. Edison Field, home to the Anaheim Angels, received the second-highest number of votes with 11.2 percent. Also among the top chosen by players were the Seattle Mariners' Safeco Field (9.5 percent), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (5.7 percent), the Kansas City Royals' Kauffman Stadium (5.1 percent) and the Arizona D-Backs' Bank One Ballpark (5 percent).

A tight-knit turf, along with grass that Dodger Stadium's grounds crew keeps cut at between nine-sixteenths to three-quarters of an inch, are keys to providing a player-pleasing surface, says Eric Hansen, turf manager of Dodger Stadium, who also credits West Coast Turf for the field's success. These characteristics allow Dodger Stadium's field to play quick and fair, he added.

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“Turf, maintained at or below three-quarters of an inch, provides a quick enough surface to satisfy the hitters and a true ball bounce and roll for the fielders.”

Players voted the worst-quality playing fields as the Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field (17.5 percent), the Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park (17.1 percent), the Montreal Expos' Olympic Stadium (13 percent), the New York Mets' Shea Stadium (9.7 percent), the Minnesota Twins' Metrodome (9.3 percent) and the Philidelphia Phillies' Veterans Stadium.

According to the poll, only five of the 525 votes for best field (1 percent) were for parks with artificial turf; 35.5 percent of the votes for worst field were for parks with artificial surfaces.

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