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Australian groundskeepers get taste of the big leagues
Murray Cook hosts MLB Field Maintenance Clinic in Canberra
09/11/2017 8:02 PM ET

CANBERRA - More than 25 field managers and groundskeepers from five states across Australia attended the Saturday's MLB Australian Field Maintenance Clinic hosted at MIT ballpark by MLB Field and Ballpark Coordinator, Murray Cook. The clinic comes ahead of the scheduled redevelopment of the Fort at MIT Ballpark, which is scheduled to begin immediately following the 2017-18 ABL season and finish before the start of 2018-19.
Cook, who is widely regarded as the most accomplished baseball groundskeeper the world, was responsible for the transformation of the Sydney Cricket Ground ahead of the 2014 MLB Opening Series and Blacktown International Sportspark prior to the 2015 World Baseball Classic Qualifier.
His one-day clinic was a crash course in mound and home plate care, infield maintenance, troubleshooting turf problems, usage of field materials and more.
"It was exciting to be a part of, Cook said following Saturday's clinic. "MLB has supported the growth of baseball in Australia for a long time and this was the first time we've ever held the MLB Field Maintenance Clinic in Australia. The event sponsors, Turface, Covermaster, and Gail Materials deserve a lot of thanks for helping to make it all possible. I'm impressed with the passion the attendees have for sports field management and I look forward to coming back to Australia soon to see some continued improvements."
The ABL's Head of Facility Development, Dan Amodio, who has worked closely with Cook on the redevelopment of other ABL ballparks, as well as some of the aforementioned international events, was glad he could give something back to facility managers from around the country.
"Our field managers and groundskeepers are the unsung heroes of our sport, Amodio said. "They pour countless hours into making sure fields are safe and ready for play, and they are so hungry for more information on how to do a better job. I'm happy we were able to give them this opportunity. They got to learn from the most accomplished baseball groundskeepers in the world and share stories and information with some of their fellow field managers from around the country. The event was a success and we're already looking forward to bringing it back next year."
You can read more about Murray's many accomplishments, and follow him to baseball facilities around the world on his blog,

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.