Getting Harbor Park home opener ready

Posted at 5:46 AM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 15:28:05-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Thursday night, the Norfolk Tides will take on the Toledo Mud Hens at home.

The Tides' season has already begun, but Thursday marks the team's first home game.

While the players have been preparing for the season, the Harbor Park grounds crew has also been preparing, doing everything they can do make sure the field is ready for game day.

Kenny Magner has been the Head Grounds Keeper at Harbor Park for 44 years. He knows every single detail of his field.

"This is 98,000 square feet that needs to be taken care of equally at all times," said Magner. "When the gates open and people are sitting here, the field is not part of the conversation it just looks nice."

Magner says he takes care of the field all year round.

"It starts in the fall with weed control and preparing the field for winter. This is Bermuda grass; we don’t overseed with rye grass, so we are totally brown in the winter time. We start working it January and February moving it along."

Magner's job doesn't stop once the baseball season starts. It continues through the season, especially when the Tides are on the road.

"We go through peaks and lows all year round; you just repair when the team is on the road," explained Magner. "If they are gone for seven days, plan a job to get done the first two days. That way when the team gets back the following week, it's ready."

While Magner admits his job can be stressful at times, he says after 44 years, he is still having fun taking care of the field.