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We thought it would be interesting to learn more about the type of grass that each MLB park uses.
So why do the parks choose the grass that they do?
Selection of grass for the playing field is also dependent on factors like personal preference, climate, sunlight, drainage, wear and tear, and environmental conditions. Similar how you would select a grass for your own lawn.
Let’s take a look at the types of grass used in Major League Baseball Parks and see how their properties make them the popular choice.
Bluegrass tops the list as the most popular turf for baseball parks. It is the best quality cool season grass with its thick carpet feature and fine texture. It also produces the best looking sports field because of its distinct color selection ranging from emerald green to dark blue depending upon the variety.
Bluegrass takes time to take root and requires more water and fertilizer to keep it growing at peak levels. Due to its slow growing rate, it is sometimes seeded with other grasses for faster results.
Bermuda Grass is the best all-around warm season grass for any athletic field. As far as quality and characteristics, common Bermuda grass is fast to establish, deep rooted, medium textured, denser, darker green in color, high degree of tolerance for insect and disease, and adapts well to coastal settings.
Where price is a factor, Bermuda grass seed is the cheapest in the market. The only problem with this type of grass is its inability to survive the cold winter season.
Perennial Ryegrass is a medium to high maintenance grass used for athletic fields in the cool and transitional areas. It produces excellent texture, range of color, and high degree of tolerance to diseases and pests.
It is fast to germinate and repairs quickly. Its seed is used to overseed permanent grass that goes dormant for the purpose of achieving beautiful green grass in early spring.
Zoysia Grass is a slow growing grass that goes into dormancy during the cooler seasons. It produces stiff leaves and a very dense turf that cause a different play condition for moving baseball. It does not have a good root zone which is essential in a good quality turf grass.
Due to these factors, it is not a popular choice for many playing fields in North America.
Paspalum is a new kind of infield grass that is a lot softer than the hybrid bermuda. Its spongy quality could spell the difference if you want more speed out of the ball on the infield.
This variety of grass can withstand high salt content in water.
Artificial turf is mostly used in sports arenas where a grass playing surface is needed. It is made up of synthetic fibers with the appearance of natural grass. Artificial turf is easy to maintain and stands up to heavy use, making it a popular choice in covered or partially covered stadiums.
*Information from several sources including http://www.fangraphs.com/not/the-grass-is-always-greener/