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Sports Then and Now



Grass is In at Major League Baseball Stadiums 23

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 →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month won a Bronze Star in Vietnam before going on to win American League Rookie of the Year honors and playing 14 seasons in the Major Leagues.

      Though only 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, Al Bumbry was a four-year basketball player at Virginia State College (now University). The school restarted its baseball program during his career and Bumbry hit .578 during his senior season to earn notice from the Baltimore Orioles, who picked him in the 11th round of the MLB Draft.

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