- Triple-A: Casey Griffin, Albuquerque Isotopes (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
- Double-A: Brock Phipps, Springfield Cardinals (Springfield, Missouri, pictured above)
- Single-A: Greg Burgess, Greenville Drive (Greenville, South Carolina)
- Short Season or Rookie: Matt Neri, State College Spikes (State College, Pennsylvania)
“I want to acknowledge the safe and beautiful playing surfaces that all of our minor league members produce each year,” said Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of the STMA. “The competition was fierce and the quality of the natural grass playing surfaces produced by these four award winners is stunning.”
Phipps is being honored for the fifth time (2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and for the fourth year in a row. Burgess is a second-time winner (2008, 2016), while Griffin and Neri are first-time winners, joining an elite class of sports turf managers. Additionally, Griffin was the inaugural winner of STMA’s Stars and Stripes contest in July.
Winners are selected via a 16-member awards committee, compiled by the STMA. Each nominee is independently scored on cultural practices, game day routine, resource utilization, staff management and the sports turf manager’s involvement and support of the sports turf industry.
The STMA will present the awards to the recipients at the annual Major League Baseball Winter Meetings awards luncheon in National Harbor, Maryland on December 5.