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Sports Then and Now



Grass is In at Major League Baseball Stadiums 24

Posted on January 20, 2010 by Don Spieles
In 2010 28 of the 30 MLB teams will be playing on natural grass.

In 2010 28 of the 30 MLB teams will be playing on natural grass.

There’s a famous quote from one of my all time favorite baseball players, Tug McGraw, that goes something like this:

REPORTER:  Tug, Which do you prefer: Grass or AstroTurf?

TUG:  I’ve never smoked AstroTurf…

You have to love the Tugger!

Since its hay day back in the 70’s, artificial turf has been prevalent in professional sports, particularly in baseball.  It’s first appearance in the Houston Astrodome in 1965, and plastic grass has been the bane of baseball purists everywhere from just about day one.

The Astrodome was the world’s first domed sports stadium and, as luck would have it, grass doesn’t grow in the shade.   While the name “AstroTurf” is a trademarked product, the phrase gets used to cover just about all of the nasty dangerous stuff that players have been ravaging their bodies on for decades. There’s the painful “Turf Toe,” which is essentially a type of tendonitis common for athletes playing on artificial surfaces.  Earlier versions used rubber based under-matting that could leach chemicals in to the water table.  The stuff also had the pleasant distinction of needed to be disinfected at regular intervals to prevent mold and smell. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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