Suplizio Field selected as ‘09 Colorado field of the year

With four high school teams, a college team and a national tournament being played on its diamond, Suplizio Field is a busy place in the baseball season.

Suplizio Field hosts more baseball games than the Colorado Rockies has home games.

For that to happen, it takes a crew of workers to keep in it playing condition.

Their work is being recognized.

Suplizio Field was selected the Colorado Sports Turf Managers Association 2009 Field of the Year.

“Suplizio Field has helped Lincoln Park become the crown jewel of the Grand Junction parks system,” Rob Schoeber, the City Parks and Rec Director, said in a press release. “This award is recognition for the many people and organizations that have played a part in its success for so many years.”

The award recognizes outstanding turf sports facilities and the staff that maintain them.

The Suplizio Field maintenance crew includes Grand Junction Sports Facilities Supervisor Eddie Mort, Marc Mancuso, Ryan Dennison and Bill Johnson.

“It’s a great award,” Mort said. “We’re proud of our guys. This shows how great our guys are. Without the community paying those fees we couldn’t do the things we do.”

An average of 130 games are played at Suplizio Field each year. The field hosts one of the largest tournaments in the nation in the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series and is in top condition for the tournament each year.

“Number one, it’s a great testament to all the people involved with the city and the Junior College World Series,” Jamie Hamilton, the JUCO World Series chairman, said. “Eddie Mort, Marc Mancuso and those guys have such a passion for it. I thought it was the best in the United States.”

There are more games played at Suplizio before JUCO than the Colorado Rockies have home games all year.

The Mesa State College baseball team is usually the first to break the field in each year.

The 22nd-ranked Mavericks host Upper Iowa University in a four-game series next weekend, Feb. 19-21, at Suplizio Field.

The field crew usually begins work on the field the first week of February each year and works on it until the end of November.

They were removing snow from the field Tuesday and plan on mowing it next week.

“It’s all weather dependent,” Mort said. “Hopefully, we’ll have it playable next week and maintain it for next week. We have three or four staff members there throughout the year.”

Suplizio Field, though, hosts more than baseball games. It hosted the Sarah Palin rally in October 2009 and is scheduled to host Money X Live, a National Youth Financial Educators Council event, in April.

“The reason we have those events is this is the only place for more than a couple thousand people in town,” Mort said.


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