Posts tagged with "baseball"

illustration by Sam Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Force3 Named Official Mask of MLB Players, Inc.

Force3 Pro Gear, which has a mission of developing the safest protective gear available for catchers and umpires, today announced it will be recognized as an “Official Catcher’s Mask Partner of MLB Players, Inc.”  

The designation by MLB Players, Inc., the business arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association, underscores that Force3 Pro Gear is fast establishing itself as one of baseball’s premier catcher’s equipment companies. Since Tyler Flowers of the Atlanta Braves first wore a Force3 mask in 2016, several other Major Leaguers have followed, including Chicago White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal, who is also an investor in the company.  

With its revolutionary patented S3 Shock Suspension System technology, Force3’s unique line of masks reduces frontal impacts by absorbing energy that otherwise would be transmitted back through the head. Force3’s masks have been independently tested with speeds over 100 mph and at NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approved test labs to ensure the performance exceeds mask standards.

“I created this mask technology out of necessity after being violently struck by a foul ball to my chin while umpiring in the minor leagues,” said Force3 Pro Gear President and Founder Jason Klein. “The S3 technology absorbs impacts like no other mask, reducing injuries and giving Players and umpires the best chance of not being seriously injured.”  

“Ensuring the safety and wellness of Players is at the forefront of all that we do, and we admire Force3 Pro Gear’s mission to manufacture safe equipment for catchers and umpires,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said.     

Klein founded Force3 Pro Gear and created the patented S3 Technology after recognizing a need to improve sport equipment during his 10 years as a minor league umpire. The Milford, Conn.-based company is committed to reducing the number of concussion,s and other sports injuries and extending the careers of athletes and officials by revolutionizing their protective equipment. 

 As part of the agreement, MLB Players, Inc. will also become a shareholder in the company.

Baseball illustration for 360 mag by Kaelen Felix

Topps National Baseball Card Day

The Topps Company®, the official trading card partner of Major League Baseball, is excited to announce its month-long pop-up truck tour in celebration of Topps National Baseball Card Day on Saturday August 7.

Starting on Friday July 9 in Denver, CO, the Topps Truck will kick off at MLB’s All-Star Week, and then travel to numerous cities stopping at MLB stadiums, hobby shops and local events across the country, finally ending at the Field of Dreams game in Deyersville, IA on August 12. The Topps Truck, wrapped entirely in over 11,000 baseball cards, will travel more than 6,600 miles, bringing baseball fans the ultimate fandom experience. Throughout the month-long journey, the onsite teams in each location will host trivia contests and cornhole games, along with free baseball cards and Topps swag giveaways. Fans are also invited to take a photo in a life-size Topps card frame to become their own card, as well as trade at the mobile Topps Card Wall, a staple activity at Topps events.

“Every year, National Baseball Card Day is a reminder of Topps’ rich heritage and the infectious card collecting hobby that has remained a staple for sports fans and collectors of all ages,” said Emily Kless, Topps Communications Manager. “In 2019, we celebrated National Baseball Card Day with a pop-up Topps Truck in NYC, and this year, as we continue to celebrate Topps’ 70th Anniversary of baseball cards, we wanted to bring our Topps Truck to fans across the states, and celebrate our favorite players, iconic game moments, and more, at MLB stadiums and hobby shops nationwide.”

In addition, Topps is teaming up with FOX to raise awareness of NBCD, and the highly anticipated Field of Dreams game, which will take place in Deyersville, IA on Thursday August 12.

To commemorate the occasion, Topps is also giving away packs of cards in hobby shops across the country in honor of NBCD on Saturday August 7. Consumers can follow the Topps Truck’s journey on social media @Topps, and celebrate using the hashtag #ToppsNBCD.

For more information on National Baseball Card Day, please visit the Topps website.

Lake Placid at Chickasaw State Park in Henderson, Tennessee via Tennessee State Parks for use by 360 Magazine

Tennessee Has Great Vacation Options for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just around the corner, treat Dad to the natural wonders, thrilling adventures and southern hospitality of Tennessee. Whether he is into hiking, fishing, golfing, or cheering on his favorite team in the stands, gift Dad with the ultimate guys weekend he will never forget.

If dad is looking for some time to relax, recharge and experience some natural wonders, spend time at Fall Creek Falls where dad can spend the weekend hiking to the park’s breathtaking waterfalls, golfing away on its 18-hole golf course, swinging from tree to tree on the Canopy Challenge Course, enjoying the day on the water and much more. Join in the fun all Father’s Day weekend long with planned events at the park, including a scenic pontoon boat tour, night kayak tour, fishing for dinner, night hikes and much more. With lodging available on-site, including 30 cabins, 222 campsites and a new hotel opening this fall, it makes for the perfect outdoor weekend with dad. 

Adventure off the grid with dad this Father’s Day at the highest lodge in the eastern United States. Only accessible by hiking, LeConte Lodge is located within the Smoky Mountains National Park where its guests can enjoy breathtaking views, a quaint atmosphere and delicious family-style meals. Unplug from the world for the weekend and enjoy the spectacular sunsets and sunrises atop the mountain while basking in the sounds of nature. During dad’s stay in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, take him to visit one of the 90 historic structures housed within the park such as the Little Cataloochee Church, Barn at Mountain Farm Museum or Gregg-Cable House in Cades Cove and take the whole family on a hike along the Kephart Prong and Porters Creek Trails. 

Venture out to West Tennessee June 20 to Chickasaw State Park to explore the beauty and rolling terrain of the region. With campsite amenities and cabins to rent, spend the day diving into nature with the park’s featured activities like playing a round on its Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, paddling away on Lake Placid, swimming at the park’s beach, fishing or hiking one of the 7 trails on-site. Dad will have his summer oasis whether with friends or family. 

Tee the day off at Mirimichi Golf Course where dad can channel his inner pro golfer on their championship-inspired golf course and practice facilities. After a relaxing day of golf, head over to Old Millington Vineyard to enjoy a glass of wine and live music or stop by Barretville General Store for a mouthwatering sandwich and homemade dessert. 

Looking to score the ultimate gift for dad this year? Look no further than tickets to the WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational at Memphis’ TPC Southwind. Taking place Aug. 2-8, tickets are available for purchase. Dad will be able to see some of the top golfers in the world at the championship-style golf course while enjoying a taste of Memphis at “The Pit,” featuring some of the area’s best barbecue, including Central BBQ, The Commissary, HOG WILD and The Rendezvous. There is also a special getaway package at the Peabody Memphis Hotel where guests can enjoy a one-night stay, two ground tickets, special on-site access and exclusive tournament swag. For more info, click HERE

Take a trip to the “golf capital of Tennessee” and spend the weekend at Stonehenge Golf Club at Fairfield Glade. Ranked one of the top golf courses in the state, Stonehenge is a golfer’s paradise with its pristine greens and competitive edge. Dad will not want to leave. During his stay at Fairfield Glade, dad can take advantage of not only the golf course but the trail range, tennis and pickleball courts, the marina and the three pools on property. Fairfield Glade and Stonehenge Golf Club make for the perfect summertime getaway for the whole family. 

For the dads that like to cast a line, take him to one of the best lakes in the country according to BASSMASTER, Douglas Lake. Located in Jefferson County, Douglas Lake offers up a weekend of not only fishing for crappie, bass, catfish, sunfish and more, dad can also swim among the smooth water, jet-ski, kayak, and go boating and bird watching for the day. There are also spots around the lake to pitch a tent, park your RV or even rent a cabin overlooking the water. Click HERE to learn more about cabin and boat rental and check out the latest fishing guides.

Dad can drift the day away along one of the natural wonders of the world, Reelfoot Lake, while reeling in one or more of the 50 species of fish in the lake including largemouth bass, catfish, bream and crappies. Guests can take in the beauty of west Tennessee by canoeing or kayaking along the 20-mile lake showcasing bald cypress trees while keeping a lookout for the area’s birds up high in the trees. Reelfoot Lake also offers boat cruises, deep swamp canoe trips and duck hunting trips.

For all the sport-lovin’ dads out there, Tennessee has plenty of fun. Have dad join in on the history-making debut of the Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race at Nashville Superspeedway Sunday, June 20. This inaugural event will be filled with all the family-fun entertainment for racing lovers. Make it a weekend of racing with tickets not only to the NASCAR Cup Series race but also to the Xfinity Series June 19 and Rackley Roofing 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series June 18 all located at the Nashville Superspeedway.

Take dad out to the ballpark Father’s Day weekend with tickets to the Chattanooga Lookout vs. Tennessee Smokies baseball series. The two teams are set to play all weekend long with games June 15-20 at the Tennessee Smokies’ stadium. For more information on the upcoming series, click HERE.

bsb via 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Dodgers All-Star Trevor Bauer Continues Donations

In the first two months of his season-long giveback initiative Ks for a Cause, Dodgers All-Star Pitcher Trevor Bauer has collected 96 strikeouts, which means $96,000 donated to local nonprofits. Through Ks for a Cause, Bauer is providing financial support and highlighting various nonprofit organizations focused on STEM and/or youth programming in the greater Los Angeles area. For every strikeout this regular season, Bauer is donating $1,000. Each month, a different nonprofit organization is designated.

In April, Bauer threw 51 strikeouts and made a $51,000 donation to Think Together to help fund its afterschool STEM and robotics programming for middle school students in southeast Los Angeles. In May, Bauer threw 45 strikeouts and made a $45,000 donation to the Just Keep Livin Foundation to help fund its afterschool fitness and wellness programming at Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School in Inglewood and Manual Arts High School in South Los Angeles.

This month, Bauer is supporting 9 Dots, a Los Angeles-based community of educators, researchers, and engineers committed to providing students from Title I elementary schools with the opportunity to engage in a transformative computer science (CS) education. 9 Dots has a special focus on creating empowering CS experiences for female, Latinx, Black, and low-income students. The organization creates learning environments that engage every student, foster joy, and promote fearlessness in problem solving while also providing teachers with the support and tools they need to lead exceptional computer science learning experiences.

Specifically, Bauer’s donation will help fund 9 Dots’ computer science education for elementary school students in Compton Unified and Los Angeles Unified school districts.

In addition to monetary support, Bauer is highlighting all Ks for a Cause organizations through a dedicated content series on his YouTube Channel and with limited-edition Ks for a Cause merchandise on his website. All proceeds from merchandise sales will benefit that month’s designated beneficiary organization. 

Bauer is fully funding Ks for a Cause through grants via the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF). He has also partnered with LADF to evaluate potential partner organizations and to work with receiving organizations. 

About Trevor Bauer

Trevor Bauer is an All-Star pitcher and entrepreneur in his 10th MLB season and first with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner was selected No. 3 overall in the 2011 MLB Draft and made his major league debut in 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians later that year and made his first All-Star appearance in 2018. Bauer was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in 2019 and went on to become the club’s first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award (2020). 

Off the field, the former UCLA standout co-founded Momentum in 2019, a media company aimed at connecting fans and athletes on a human level and going behind the scenes of the lives, training, and game days of MLB stars. Bauer is also an equity partner and co-leads the baseball vertical at PlayersTV, the first-and-only multi athlete-owned TV network and media company.

Seton Hall player illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Baseball’s All-Star Game

Majority of Fans Support Removal of Baseball’s All-Star Game from Atlanta, Possible Removal of Super Bowl from Arizona Over Voting Laws

Support for Boycott of Beijing Olympic Games Over Human Rights Issues; Support for Athletes, Leagues, Unions Championing Social Change

By a 55-31 percent margin, a new Seton Hall Sports Poll has found that sports fans across the country support Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in the wake of Georgia’s new voting laws. Those who call themselves “avid fans” are even more supportive, agreeing with MLB by a 67-25 percent margin. 

The general population was also in support of the move from MLB by a 49-31 percent margin, with 20 percent indicating “don’t know/no opinion.” The “don’t know/no opinion” choice was recited by 14 percent of sports fans and only eight percent of avid fans.

These were the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted April 23-26 geographically spread across the United States using a national representative sample weighted according to gender, age, ethnicity, education, income and geography based on U.S. Census Bureau figures. The Poll had 1,563 adult respondents with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent. 

Super Bowl Removed from Arizona?

Almost exactly the same level of support was shown for the possibility of moving the 2023 Super Bowl out of Arizona should that state follow Georgia with similar voting law changes. By 55-32 percent (13 percent don’t know/no opinion), sports fans would support moving the game, with avid fans in support of a move by 64-27 percent (9 percent don’t know/no opinion). Among the general public, there is also support for moving the game by 49-30 percent with 21 percent in the “don’t know/no opinion” category.

“When I had the profound pleasure of meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1993 as the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, he encouraged us to use our positions in sport to become agents of change,” said Seton Hall Professor Charles Grantham, director of the Center for Sport Management within the Stillman School of Business. “It is perhaps a long time in coming, but there would seem to be more support than ever for that proposition amongst the leagues, the players and the fans as well as the general public. But so far, the moves are largely symbolic and will require the leagues to utilize their strong political lobby to effectuate legislative and policy change.”

An Olympic Boycott for Beijing Games?

Moving on to the global stage, respondents to the poll were also asked about a possible boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in China, a country often cited for human rights violations. Asked if they would support a boycott of the games, 55 percent of the U.S. general population said yes, with only 23 percent saying no, and 22 percent saying they did not know or held no opinion. Among sports fans, support for a boycott rose to 57 percent vs. 27 percent opposed to a boycott, and among avid fans, 65 percent said yes to a boycott vs. 23 percent saying no. The don’t know/no opinion responses were 16 percent and 12 percent respectively for these self-described fans.

With Allies?

When Americans were asked if they would support an Olympic boycott if multiple countries joined in, the “yes” numbers (in favor) rose to 60 percent for the general population, 62 percent for sports fans and stayed even at 65 percent for avid fans.

Should Athletes Be Able to Participate Independently if Their Countries Boycott the Olympics?

On the question of whether athletes should be able to compete without representing their countries (if their countries were boycotting), the general population said yes by more than a 2 to 1 margin (49-23 percent), with 28 percent registering don’t know/no opinion. Among sports fans, the yes margin was even greater at 54-23 percent (with 23 percent don’t know/no opinion). Support for athletes competing individually rose again among avid fans to 63-23 percent with 14 percent saying don’t know/no opinion.

Should Leagues and Teams Use Their Influence To Affect Social Change?

 Asked whether organizations (sports leagues and teams) should use their influence to affect social change, the general public supported such actions by a 48-36 percent margin with 16 percent answering don’t know/no opinion. The level of support for teams and leagues wielding their influence to affect social change rose to 52 percent for sports fans and 61 percent for avid fans. 

Should Governments Use Sporting Events To Influence or Affect Social Change?

Asked whether governments should use sporting events to affect social change, the general public supported such actions by a 43-38 percent margin with 19 percent answering don’t know/no opinion. The level of support for governments wielding their influence to affect social change through sport rose to 48 percent for sports fans and 61 percent for avid fans. 

Players and Players Associations?

Asked if athletes and/or players associations should use their influence to affect social change – 51 percent of the general population said yes, compared to only 35 percent no and 14 percent who said they did not know or had no opinion. Support for the players’ advocacy rose among sports fans to 55 percent with 34 percent opposing. Among those who describe themselves as “avid fans,” those in favor rose again to 65 percent with opposition declining to 28 percent (11 and seven percent, respectively, saying don’t know/no opinion).

“The question of moving major events in response to legislation or boycotting the Olympics gets to the heart of sports and society, and one influencing the other,” said Grantham. “If the leagues, teams and players continue to wield their economic and political power as agents of change, the potential for real and meaningful impact can be realized.”

Questions and charted breakdowns may be found below; an online version of this release may be found here.

ABOUT THE POLL

The Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted regularly since 2006, is performed by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. This poll was conducted online by YouGov Plc. using a national representative sample weighted according to gender, age, ethnicity, education, income and geography, based on U.S. Census Bureau figures. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S residents. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been chosen for inclusion in iPoll by Cornell’s Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and its findings have been published everywhere from USA Today, ESPN, The New York Times, Washington Post, AP, and Reuters to CNBC, NPR, Yahoo Finance, Fox News and many points in between. 

Baseball illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

All American Grass

All American Grass at the Baseball Field

By: Lively Root

An American past time, baseball wouldn’t be quite what it is without the peanuts and popcorn and, of course, the field. Surprisingly, most fields don’t seem to give you any stats on the green so Livelyroot gives us the scoop:

Patterns
Most greens are taken care of by the groundskeepers at the park and, without a doubt, they take pride in the patterns they create. From checkerboards to logos, circles, and diamonds a-plenty, this process is known as lawn striping, and it’s done by using old-fashioned mowers that have a roller behind the blades. It’s this roller that bends the grass to create the patterns. To create a checkerboard, a mower would pass over the grass in side-by-side rows, first going north to south and then east to west, intersecting the stripes.

Varieties
At most ballparks, they use different types of grass depending on how they want to enhance the game and look of the field. Usually you’ll find fescues, rye, and bluegrass. If they use warm season grass, there’s likely less contrast to the patterns because they have to use Bermuda. Many stadiums use artificial turf instead, as it has many benefits and does not need much maintenance. And it’s not just baseball: many NFL stadiums have already taken the green path and use NFL artificial turf that conserves huge amounts of water.

Learn more about the different types of grass at each stadium below.

Angel Stadium – Tifway 419 bermudagrass
A product of West Coast Turf, the playing surface used in Anaheim is the only one in MLB that is on native soil without a drainage system installed underneath it. The reason for the unusual distinction? The threat of a rainout is almost non-existent. In fact, the Angels have been rained out at home just once in the last 20 years (July 19, 2015). So, it doesn’t really matter that the grass here sits on top of soil rather than sand, as is the helpful for water drainage custom elsewhere.

AT&T Park – Tifway 419 bermudagrass
Grown in Stockton, CA by Delta Bluegrass Company. In the past, the Giants used a Kentucky bluegrass blend called “Blue Rye” that was provided by the same company to cover their field.

Busch Stadium – Kentucky bluegrass
Grown by Graff’s Turf Farms in Fort Morgan, CO, from where the first batch of sod used at the Cardinals’ stadium arrived in March 2006 via 28 flatbed trucks. The field has since been resodded multiple times using Graff’s grass.

Camden Yards – Kentucky bluegrass
Tuckahoe Turf Farms in Hammonton, NJ supplies the turf for Baltimore’s field and its sod farm, which is in center field, behind the batter’s eye. So, it’s from there where grass patches are pulled during the season when repairs are needed. And the Orioles haven’t always used Tuckahoe. For example, when resodding Camden Yards in November 2005 the team chose grass from Collins Wharf Sod Farm in Eden, MD.

Chase Field – Bull’s Eye Bermuda grass
Made by West Coast Turf, who commercially sells the stuff as BOBSod, a play on the nickname of Bank One Ballpark (BOB), the original name of Chase Field and what the D-backs’ home was called when Bull’s Eye Bermuda was installed in 1999. For its first season, the Phoenix ballpark used a zoysia blend called DeAnza, which browned badly over the summer. So, it was replaced by Bull’s Eye, which was designed to thrive in warm to hot climates and has the best shade tolerance of all bermuda grasses, therefore making it ideal for a desert-based retractable-roof stadium.

Citi Field – Kentucky bluegrass
According to Citi Field’s Twitter feed, the playing field consists of four different strains of Kentucky bluegrass. Apollo, Midnight Star, Moonlight and P105 are the specific strains.

Citizens Bank Park – Riviera Bermuda grass (outfield) and Kentucky bluegrass (infield)
To fully cover the Phillies’ field, 101,000 square feet of grass is needed, and all of it was provided by Collins Wharf Sod Farm of Eden, MD. In 2012, their Bermuda blend replaced entirely what had been an all-Kentucky bluegrass field partly due to its ability to better withstand Philadelphia’s weather extremes. However, in 2016 the thicker-than-Bermuda bluegrass was reinstalled in the infield, with the change made to slow down ground balls, which was desired by Phillies personnel, who made the request for the switch. Thus, two different types of Maryland-grown grass now cover the two distinct areas of Philly’s field.

Comerica Park – Kentucky bluegrass
Supplied by Graff’s Turf Farms in Fort Morgan, CO and was laid down in 2014, when Detroit’s field was fully resodded for the first time since 2007.

Coors Field – Kentucky bluegrass blend
The Rockies get their grass from a Colorado company, Graff’s Turf Farms, that is 75 miles northeast of where they play ball in Denver. The five-variety blend of dwarf type Kentucky bluegrass that is used at Coors Field is intended to have a lifespan of about six years.

Dodger Stadium – Tifway 419 bermudagrass overseeded with perennial ryegrass
Grown by West Coast Turf in Palm Desert, CA, where a Bermuda hybrid is overseeded with rye, which is better tolerant to the normally cool temperatures at the beginning of the season. By the summer months the more heat-tolerant Bermuda grass supplants the ryegrass.

Fenway Park – Kentucky bluegrass
The oldest ballpark in baseball gets its grass from New Jersey, and specifically Tuckahoe Turf Farms.

Globe Life Park – Tifway 419 bermudagrass
The Rangers’ grass is Texas grown, as it comes from Tri-Tex Grass, which appropriately has three Texas locations. The current Bermuda blend used in the infield replaced a zoysia in 2013. The outfield has been covered with the same Tifway 419 for a while.

Great American Ball Park – Perennial ryegrass mixture
Ryegrass replaced Kentucky bluegrass on Cincinnati’s field in 2007, when a five-way blend was laid down prior to the season, with the grass a mixture of stuff called Exacta II, Fiesta IV, Linedrive GLS, Panther GLS and SR4600. The original perennial ryegrass sod was used through 2012. When the Reds announced a new field of perennial ryegrass would debut in 2013, they noted it was grown at farms in southeastern Indiana.

Guaranteed Rate Field – Kentucky bluegrass
Really no information is available on the grass used on the South Side of Chicago, other than it’s tended to by “The Sodfather,” the nickname bestowed upon third-generation MLB head groundskeeper Roger Bossard, who assumed the White Sox job in 1983 after taking over for his father, Gene, who had been the head groundskeeper at old Comiskey Park since 1940. So the bluegrass sod at the Cell is watched over by the most experienced caretaker possible.

Kauffman Stadium – Grass blend that varies during the season
As the season progresses, the grass composition at the Royals’ stadium is altered. Its Bermuda is fine for the warm months but cooler times of the season see the grounds crew mixing in bluegrass, fescue or rye, choices which keep the field aesthetically pleasing when temperatures are not ideal for grass growth.

Marlins Park – Platinum TE paspalum
The ballpark debuted in 2012 with a field full of Celebration bermudagrass, began 2013 with an outfield of Tifway 419 Bermuda and infield of Platinum TE paspalum, and finally in 2014 the whole field was covered with the paspalum, which handles Miami’s hot and humid weather much better than the other two grasses the Marlins tried.

Miller Park – Kentucky bluegrass
The four-blend field of bluegrass that the Brewers use is covered during much of the offseason by a special tarp that helps it go through the proper growing cycle so that the playing surface is ready in time for Opening Day. The sod seen at Miller Park is a product of Robert Heath Farms in Coloma, WI.

Minute Maid Park – Seashore Paspalum
In late 2008, the Astros resodded their field with a new kind of turf grass called Platinum TE paspalum. Grown by Phillip Jennings Turf Farms in Soperton, GA, it was invented in 2007 by a company in Florida and is ideal for a retractable roofed stadium due to the lower sunlight requirements needed to maintain its dark green color. While what the Astros now get from Georgia goes by the name Seashore Paspalum, it’s not used on the ballpark’s most notable feature, Tal’s Hill, which is covered by zoysia grass.

Nationals Park – Kentucky bluegrass
When they played at RFK Stadium, the Nationals did so on a Bermuda grass field, mainly because that kind of sod was ideal for soccer and RFK was also home to a Major League Soccer team (D.C. United). When the Nationals finally got a home of their own in 2008, Kentucky bluegrass from New Jersey’s Tuckahoe Turf Farms was chosen for the baseball-only playing surface. The original crop lasted four years then was replaced by the same stuff, which the Nats say is a three-way blend of bluegrass, with Brilliant, Midnight Star and Princeton 105 the varieties used.

Oakland Coliseum – Kentucky bluegrass
The A’s (and Raiders) play on a field of Kentucky bluegrass and West Coast Turf grows what the Coliseum needs on one of their California-based farms. While the type of turf used in Oakland has changed over the years, because the Coliseum is the only venue to host MLB and NFL teams its field must be resodded every year, which happens about a month before the baseball season.

Petco Park – Bandera Bermuda
In 2014, the Padres made the decision to try a new type of Bermuda sod, replacing the “Bull’s Eye” variety that had always been used at Petco Park with what their grass provider, West Coast Turf, calls Bandera, a California-grown grass that doesn’t need much water to thrive.

PNC Park – Kentucky bluegrass
The sod that the Pirates use was grown in New Jersey at Tuckahoe Turf Farms, where four blends of bluegrass were mixed to produce the Pittsburgh playing field. As of the 2009 season, the varieties of bluegrass that comprise the Bucs’ mixture are: Brilliant, Midnight Star, Moonlight and P105. That’s different from when PNC Park opened, as strains with names such as Abbey and Ascot were a part of the Pirates’ original hybrid Kentucky bluegrass field, which came from Berrien Springs, Michigan and a place called the Magic Carpet Turf Farms.

Progressive Field – Kentucky bluegrass
The Indians are one of a handful of MLB clients of Tuckahoe Turf Farms, from whom they now get sod that is grown in New Jersey. The ballpark’s original Kentucky bluegrass came from a state much closer to Ohio, however, as it was grown in neighboring Indiana.

Rogers Centre – AstroTurf 3D Xtreme
The days of a fake field in Toronto are numbered, as the Blue Jays plan to install real grass inside their retractable-roofed home for the 2018 season. So, the now-used turf, which was first laid down in 2015, has only three baseball seasons to get through, although the Rogers Centre baseball field often must be rolled up so the floor underneath can be used for the numerous non-baseball events the venue hosts. The Jays’ current version of AstroTurf, which when removed equals 145 rolls, replaced the AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D surface that debuted in 2010. AstroTurf is made in the “Carpet Capital of the World,” as Dalton, Georgia is often referred to.

Safeco Field – Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass mixture
The Mariners’ turf hails from the Washington state capital, as it’s grown by Country Green Turf Farms of Olympia. Except for as-needed repairs, the original playing surface went unaltered through the 2011 season, after which new 100% Kentucky bluegrass sod was installed in the infield. Elsewhere, the grass is a combination of four kinds of bluegrass and two types of perennial ryegrass.

SunTrust Park – Seashore Paspalum Platinum TE
The new home of the Braves is covered with 109,000 square feet of sod that was grown in Foley, AL at Bent Oak Farm before it was installed March 4-5, 2017 in the suburban Atlanta ballpark. SunTrust Park is about 15 miles northwest of Turner Field, where the Braves used the Alabama-grown paspalum grass only in the infield from 2012-2016, when the team used Tifway 419 bermudagrass in the outfield. Now the Braves’ field is completely covered with the same type of grass, which was grown a couple miles from the Gulf of Mexico, making “Seashore” an apt descriptive name for the type of paspalum used.

Target Field – Kentucky bluegrass
Graff’s Turf Farms grew the Twins their grass in Fort Morgan, CO, from where it was transported to Minneapolis in 19 refrigerated trucks. The team and manufacturer both refer to the sod that was installed at Target Field as a 4-way blend of Kentucky bluegrass.

Tropicana Field – TruHop Synthetic Turf
The Rays’ current carpet was installed in time for the 2018 season and was essentially a do-over for the previous surface, which was only used for the 2017 season, after which a replacement was deemed necessary for an aesthetic reason: the initial edition of the TruHop “Triple Crown” synthetic turf manufactured by Shaw Sports Turf didn’t look right on TV. So the 143,370 square feet of it was removed and replaced with a darker colored version of the same style of turf, which then became the sixth artificial field used in the Trop’s history. Prior to switching to a surface made by Calhoun, Georgia-based Shaw, the majors’ only remaining domed stadium had used a fake field supplied by another Georgia company, the well-known AstroTurf brand, as their GameDay Grass 3D was the field of choice for the Rays from 2011-2016.

Wrigley Field – Kentucky bluegrass
The Friendly Confines finds their grass in Colorado, where it’s grown for the Cubs by Graff’s Turf Farms. Since 2008, the sod at Wrigley has taken root on a level playing field. Prior to then, right field was uneven, and the field had a crown to assist in water drainage.

Yankee Stadium – Kentucky bluegrass
Since 2000, the Yankee Stadium grass has come from East Coast Sod & Seed in Pilesgrove, NJ. The sod farm there was purchased in 2000 by Long Island-based DeLea Sod Farms, from whom the Yankees had, on an on and off basis, purchased their field grass over the four decades preceding the opening of the current Stadium.

Field Facts

Kentucky bluegrass is easily the most popular type of playing surface found in major league baseball; it’s the full field grass of choice for 16 ballparks. Additionally, a 17th ballpark, Citizens Bank Park, has a Kentucky bluegrass infield. Eight ballparks have a bermudagrass field, with Tifway 419 the most common variety. Bandera, Bull’s Eye and Riviera bermudagrass are each used at a single ballpark. Tifway 419 bermudagrass gets its name from where it was developed: Tifton, Georgia. At least 10 grass farms provide sod for major league teams. Graff’s Turf Farms, Tuckahoe Turf Farms and West Coast Turf are each the grass growers for five MLB ballparks, which mean those three farms provide the sod for half of all ballparks. Fake grass, like AstroTurf and FieldTurf, has mostly become a field surface of the past thanks to the new generation of ballparks. Teams to directly move from a stadium with a turfed field into a new grass-filled ballpark are the Mariners (1999), Astros (2000), Pirates (2001), Phillies (2004) and Twins (2010). Outfield dimensions are what sets each ballpark’s playing field apart, since rulebook defined distances make all infields the same size and shape. As for the span of minimum and maximum measurements to straight away center field and the left and right field foul poles, they are: Left field: 310′ at Fenway Park to 355′ at Wrigley Field
Center field: 395′ at Dodger Stadium to 436′ at Minute Maid Park
Right field: 302′ at Fenway Park to 353′ at Wrigley Field

More about Lively Root

At Lively Root, the green spaces created have been instrumental in development as horticulturists, for an ideal green space. Lively Root’s plants are home-grown and full-scale fulfillment centers. They only sell eco-friendly products that are packaged and delivered right to your doorstep. Founding members have over a century of horticultural experience as growers, retailers, and landscapers, ranging from small plants to indoor plants, outdoor plants, large trees, and flowering shrubs. They have planted & maintained trees on residential and commercial properties. Plants improve health by purifying the air, soothing stress, making people feel happier, and offering style and ambiance. 

Sports illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

NFL Highest Average Franchise Value

NFL Highest Average Franchise Value Among North American Sports Leagues – Over $3B in 2020

The North American sports industry is one of the most lucrative industries in the world. Since 2010 the average franchise value of the four major North American sports leagues has risen at a dramatic rate. Iconic franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys, just to name a few, are now worth billions of dollars.

According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, the NFL had the highest average franchise value among the major North American sports leagues while the NBA had the highest CAGR from 2010-2020.

NFL Average Franchise Value Over $3B in 2020; NHL Only League to Experience A Decline

In 2020 the average value of NFL franchises stood at $3.045B – the highest average franchise value among the four major North American sports leagues. This figure was a 6.5%YoY increase from 2019’s value of $2.86B. The NBA had the second-largest average franchise value after leapfrogging MLB in 2019.

The average value of an NBA franchise stood at $2.123B in 2020, a 13.65% YoY increase from 2019 – the highest rate of increase among the four leagues. The NHL was the only North American sports league that experienced a decline in its average franchise value for 2020. The average value of an NHL team in 2020 stood at $653M, 2.1% less than 2019’s average value of $667M.

NBA Had Highest CAGR from 2010-2020 – 19.19%

North American sports leagues enjoyed significant growth in the last decade. In 2014 the average franchise value of the NFL, NBA and MLB had all crossed the $1B mark while the NHL crossed the $500M mark for the first time. In the period from 2010-2020, it was the NBA that experienced the highest growth among North America’s sports leagues.

In 2010 the average franchise value of the NBA stood at only $367M. Since then, this value has experienced an impressive 10-Year CAGR of 19.19% – the highest CAGR among the leagues. MLB registered the second largest CAGR of 14.2% while both the NFL and NHL had a CAGR of just over 11%.

Dallas Cowboys, NY Knicks, NY Yankees and NY Rangers Most Valuable Franchises Per League

The Dallas Cowboys of the NFL is the most valuable North American sports franchise with an estimated value of $5.5B in 2020. New York solidified its place as North America’s most lucrative sports market with the three other most valuable teams in their respective leagues calling it home. The Yankees, Knicks and Rangers were worth $5.25B, $5B, and $1.65B respectively in 2020.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information here.

Sports by Allison Christensen for 360 Magazine

Super Bowl STEM Activities

With millions of families tuning into Super Bowl LV to see if Tom Brady will win another championship, there is also a great opportunity to introduce some fun activities that will keep kids learning and active.

Youth sports and learning experts at Skyhawks Sports Academy and STEM Sports® recommend two fun activities to get children learning and active for Super Bowl weekend. The activities are easy to learn and use objects found in most households. Bonus–there may or may not be a STEM education hidden in these activities, so it is a win-win.

  • Farthest Football Throw: We all know a key skill for a quarterback is to throw the football accurately and for distance, but even the pros fall short or overthrow the ball. So, grab a football and measuring tape and start a fun competition to see which family member can throw the ball the farthest. Have each person try it 3 times and record the results. This activity will also teach your children math skills as they calculate the distance between the farthest and the shortest throws.
  • Glove Grip Test: Notice how many football players wear gloves during the game? It’s not because they’re cold, it’s because the gloves give them a better grip while catching and passing the ball. To test it out, gather different types of gloves you may find around the house – sports gloves, boxing gloves, leather gloves, mittens, dish cleaning gloves, or even disposable gloves. Try passing the football and catching it from different distances and with different gloves to notice the difference in grip and accuracy when throwing and catching.

With football being such a popular sport, these easy and fun activities provide the perfect opportunity to introduce kids to science and math concepts, as well as get them away from their screens and moving around. Consider spending a commercial break doing one of these activities, or pivoting to any of these activities if things aren’t going well for your team.

For children interested in taking STEM learning to the next level, Skyhawks and STEM Sports® offer in-person and virtual programs using sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Skyhawks also offers Flag Football camps for children between the ages of 5 and 12 and in a variety of formats in communities across the country. Current program offerings continue to follow proven COVID-19 protocols per state and local guidelines. Winter programming is currently underway, and more information, schedules, and registration are available on the Skyhawks’ website.

About Skyhawks Sports Academy

Skyhawks Sports Academy is a youth sports camp organization based in Spokane, Washington. Skyhawks was founded in Spokane in 1979 as a soccer program for children to learn sports in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment. Skyhawks currently offers programs in more than 11 different sports including Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Baseball, Multi-Sport, Tennis, Mini-Hawk, Lacrosse, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Track & Field for children ages 4-14 across North America. The format of our programs includes traditional weeklong summer day camps, year-round after-school programs, sports leagues, and clinics. For more information, visit their website.

About STEM Sports®

STEM Sports® provides turnkey K-8 supplemental curricula that use various sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. Our double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking provides a comprehensive, inquiry-based educational experience and a solution for crucial STEM literacy for students. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be applied throughout their education and future careers.

Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, our curricula will cultivate and promote participants’ STEM engagement and retention. STEM Sports® provides all of the necessary and relevant sports equipment along with the entire list of supplies called for in the teacher/administer manual and all of the items have a long-lasting shelf life. Learn more on their website.

Robinson Cano MLB illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Robinson Cano Suspended for PED

By Hannah DiPilato

Major League Baseball player Robinson Cano has been suspended after testing positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, confirmed on Wednesday in a statement that Cano will be banned for the entire 2021 season. 

This is the 38-year-old’s second suspension due to testing positive for PED. In 2018, while Cano played for the Seattle Mariners, he tested positive for using diuretic and missed 80 games according to ESPN

At the time of his first offense, Cano said the diuretic “was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” He said he was unaware the drug was banned in the MLB. 

In the MLB, testing positive for a PED a second time will result in an automatic 162 game suspension. This rule is an agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association. 

Neither Cano nor the players’ union has made a statement about his second positive test for a PED. 

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” said Mets president Sandy Alderson in a statement. “The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance-enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano will have to forfeit his 2021 salary where he was set to make $24 million. According to Fox Business, Cano is still set to make $48 million between 2022 and 2023. The Mets are responsible for $40 million while the Mariners agreed to pay the remaining $8 million. 

The news of Cano’s suspension is great news for player DJ LeMaiheu. According to the New York Post, LeMaiheu would be the perfect player for either the New York Mets or the New York Yankees to add to their rosters. After rejecting an $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, LeMaiheu is a free agent. 

After the loss of Cano for the 2021 season, the Mets are now in need of a starting second baseman. This adds to the list of starting positions that the Mets are seeking out since they are already looking for a starting pitcher, catcher and center field. The Mets could also start Jeff McNeil at second base, a position he would be comfortable in. 

Cano was traded to the Mets in 2018 sending player Jared Kelenic to the Mariners. Throughout his 16 seasons playing the sport, Cano is a .303 hitter with 334 home runs, 1,302 RBIs and two Gold Gloves according to ESPN

Cano was on his way to achieving 3,000 career hits and was at 2,624 before his suspension. This suspension will certainly create uncertainty for the future of his baseball career.

St. Bernards High School illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Wonderfilm Announces Its Latest Feature, All In, Has Begun Filming in Boston

Against all odds, the students, faculty, staff and parents of one of the smallest private educational facilitiesin America band together to save their school. How they did it was nothing short of a miracle.

Emmy Award winning producers, Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon’s Wonderfilm Media just completed the forth of eight weeks of principal photography on the highly anticipated documentary, All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s. The feature-length documentary is based on the incredible true story of how St. Bernard’s, a small private Catholic high school in Fitchburg,

Massachusetts, found itself 100 years after its founding, facing a dramatic shut-down. The film follows the community as they pour their hearts and souls into saving their school from being permanently shuttered. A miracle ensues.    

A Real-Life David and Goliath Story

With enrollment dwindling, by 2018 St. Bernard’s was the smallest school in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, with a total of 99 students. The Catholic Diocese of Worcester made the difficult decision to close the school. Led by the school’s principal, Linda Anderson, students, parents, faculty, alumni and the townspeople of Fitchburg hatched an idea to raise enough money to take the school independent and keep it open. They worked tirelessly to raise the daunting amounts needed. Unfortunately, like the school, the town was struggling, and fundraising proved extremely difficult.   With quickly approaching deadlines, extreme pressure from the budget shortfalls, the Diocesan Superintendent of Schools informed all parties of the dire straits they were facing, and that short of a miracle, the school would cease to exist. Then the football team started winning.  

It All Came Down to Football
 

Almost every eligible student at the school joined the football team. With an enrollment so small, that meant the St. Bernard’s football team had 26 boys. Miraculously, despite going up against schools often ten times as big as St. Bernard’s, the team, led by Coach Tom Bingham, was winning, and winning, and winning. And with each win, the media started reporting on this David beating Goliaths. “St. Bernard’s was going up against teams from the top schools in New England, with thousands of students, multi-million-dollar endowments, and players who were much larger physically – and winning,” said All In producer Jeff Bowler. The St. Bernard’s team went on to win the state Super Bowl played in Gillette Stadium. The 26 boys on the team, fighting for every inch of the field that their hero, New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady, called home on Sundays, won the State Championship, generating enough national publicity to raise the money needed to save the school, including a huge donation from a still anonymous donor.   

Shortly thereafter, with funds in hand, the school officially became independent, with the full support of the Diocese. In the first year following the miraculous football season, admissions are soaring, and an entire town’s spirits have been raised in celebration of saving their historic high school. 
 

“As a St. Bernard’s alum and filmmaker, I was tapped by the school to help tell this truly remarkable story to the world,” said Bowler. “This feel-good, underdog tale is about so much more than football. The story is about a community that rallied together to create their own miracle. Faced with the closing of their beloved high school, students and faculty members stepped up to the plate to save their school, with unwavering perseverance.”    

All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is being produced by Wonderfilm’s Jeff Bowler and Bret Saxon. The Emmy Award-winning duo have enjoyed success in feature documentaries, including the 2017 documentary, UNCHAINED: THE UNTOLD STORY OF FREESTYLE MOTOCROSS, narrated by Oscar nominee Josh Brolin, which won the Emmy for Best Documentary, in the sports category, as well as the 2009 feature-doc, DIRTY OIL aka DOWNSTREAM, directed by Leslie Iwerks, which was short-listed for an Oscar.   

All In is being directed by Gregg Backer (Producer/Director HBO Sports, Real Sports). Other producers include Foglight Entertainment’s Gregg Backer and Evan Kanew with Nathan Bilotta serving as Executive Producer.  All In: Miracle at St. Bernard’s is currently shooting in Fitchburg, Boston and Los Angeles.  

Wonderfilm Media recently wrapped supernatural horror LULLABY directed by John Leonetti (Anabelle), with Alcon, in Toronto. Cast and crew adhered to all COVID-19 production guidelines and there were no cases of the virus on set. The film is set for a major release next October. Wonderfilm latest release, Dead Reckoning with K.J. Apa and India Eisley, just premiered November 13.   

Upcoming Wonderfilm Media projects include the biopic on Tampa Bay Rays breakout star, Randy Arozarena. The outfielder escaped Cuba on a makeshift boat in 2015, started a new life in Mexico before making his way to the U.S and has become the most talked-about MLB player in baseball. Wonderfilm is also developing the highly coveted Steve McQueen biopic as a limited series based on Marshall Terrill’s book, “A Tribute To The King of Cool”.   

About Wonderfilm Media

Wonderfilm is a leading entertainment company with offices in Hollywood, Boston and London. Wonderfilm focuses on the production of high-quality feature films and episodic television that offer international appeal through the Company’s commitment to elevated storytelling. Wonderfilm has seen twelve of its features released over the past twelve months, including the Nic Cage thriller Primal and the Guy Pearce vehicle Disturbing the Peace. Wonderfilm was founded by Jeff Bowler, Bret Saxon, and John Lewis.

*Team pic with trophy × All In tape by George Lugo

**School foliage by Caitlin Reidy