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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 →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

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