Fort Wayne TinCaps head groundskeeper Keith Winter made history Monday when he was named the Single-A Sports Turf Manager of the Year, winning the Sports Turf Managers Association award for a third consecutive year.
Winter and Brock Phipps (of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals) each won their third consecutive award this year, an achievement that hadn’t been done until now. One head groundskeeper from each level of affiliated minor-league baseball — Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A, and Short Season-A or Rookie — receives the award. Winter was selected from 60 groundskeepers in Single-A, which includes the Midwest, South Atlantic, California, Carolina, and Florida State leagues.
John Stewart of the Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A) and David Yearout of the Spokane Indians (Short Season-A) also won in their respective categories.
A 16-member awards committee selects the winners. Each nominee is independently scored on cultural practices, game day routine, resource utilization, staff management, and the groundskeeper’s involvement and support of the sports turf industry.
Winners will receive their awards at the Baseball Winter Meetings Awards Luncheon on Monday, Dec. 7, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
You can read more about the award, including comments from Winter and TinCaps President Mike Nutter, here.
This is the second major award for the TinCaps in the past week. The team is also this year’s recipient of the John Henry Moss Community Service Award, which you can read about here.