For the first time since 1984, the Single-A Potomac Nationals have a new baseball field in Woodbridge, Va. It has been a struggle with bad drainage and an uneven playing field for years that some speculated contributed to the team missing out on getting to see a top prospect like Bryce Harper play at Pfitzner Stadium.
Today that all changed and with it, a big step up in field conditions. The hope is this new diamond will ultimately improve the quality of play for the professional baseball players who play on the field.
This year they hope that all changes with the announcement the new field is in and it is up to major league standards.
From the P-Nats press release:
"Over the course of the offseason, the diamond at the Pfitz underwent a total transformation. Immediately following the last out of the 2011 season, the old surface was completely removed. Carolina Green, an industry leader in field construction, began the process of constructing the new surface. The first step in the process was the installation of brand new Cambridge drainage and irrigation systems. Next, the entire diamond was laser graded to Major League Baseball standards.
The field itself was then constructed; Patriot Bermuda sod was laid and overseeded and then placed underneath the field blanket. This multi-pronged approach ensured the vibrant green growth that can be seen today in Woodbridge. Finally, a new pitchers mound and home plate area have been constructed from Pro's Choice mound clay."
The team has also hired a full-time groundskeeper in Brian Stokes, a D.C. area native and Virginia Tech graduate, who has significant experience at Nationals Park and with the Bowie Baysox.
The Nationals begin their 2012 season on Friday, April 13 at Pfitzner Stadium.
With this news, it means the Nationals' top selection, third baseman Anthony Rendon, will get to patrol the hot corner on a brand new surface.