This year’s honorees continuously demonstrate the hard work and passion needed to provide attractive and safe playing fields at all levels. Three of the four honorees are repeat winners showing their endless dedication to the sports turf management industry. Award recipients will receive this top honor at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings during the Awards Luncheon December 10 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Award winners include:
- Triple-A – Matt Parrott, Charlotte Knights (Charlotte, N.C.)
- Double-A – Brock Phipps, Springfield Cardinals (Springfield, Mo.)
- Single-A – Stephen Watson, Down East Wood Ducks (Kinston, N.C.)
- Short Season or Rookie – Ray Sayre, Gulf Coast Phillies (Clearwater, Fla.)
“The outstanding submissions for this year’s MiLB Sports Turf Manager of the Year awards demonstrates the value that STMA members bring to their organizations,” says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. “We are proud to honor the talent and passion of our Minor League Baseball sports turf managers.”
Matt Parrott from the Charlotte Knights (International League) repeats as the Triple-A ‘Sports Turf Manager of the Year’ award winner after receiving the honor in 2017. He also won the award in the Double-A class in 2011 as a member of the Bowie Baysox. Parrott’s other accolades include winning the ‘Eastern League Diamond Pro Sports Field Manager of the Year’ (2011, 2014, and 2015).
Brock Phipps wins the Double-A ‘Sports Turf Manager of the Year’ award for the sixth time as a member of the Springfield Cardinals (Texas League). He previously won the award in 2008 and from 2013 through 2016.
Stephen Watson from the Down East Wood Ducks (Carolina League) wins the Single-A ‘Sports Turf Manager of the Year’ award for the first time. His team worked tirelessly to provide a premier playing surface for the future stars of the Texas Rangers.
Ray Sayre wins this year’s Short Season/Rookie ‘Sports Turf Manager of the Year’ award as a member of the Gulf Coast Phillies (Gulf Coast League). This year’s award joins his previous recognition as the 2017 Double AA ‘Sports Turf Manager of the Year’ award with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Southern League).
Since 2000, STMA and MiLB have honored members who manage fields in Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A and Short Season or Rookie divisions. Winners are selected via a 13-member awards committee, compiled by STMA. 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. Previous MiLB award winners can be found at stma.org/milb.