Kiss Our Grass: CHS Field Receives American Association Playing Surface of the YearSep 16, 2020
ST. PAUL, MN (September 17, 2020) – On May 19, 2015 CHS Field opened to rave reviews. From the architecture to the unique group spaces to the overall aesthetics, many compliments were backed up by national awards. The field received national recognition in 2018 with the Sports Turf Managers Association Field of the Year. For the first time in the ballparks six-year history, the league has recognized CHS Field with the American Association Playing Surface of the Year.
The field was in impeccable shape all season long due to the tireless work by Head Groundskeeper Marcus Campbell and Assistant Groundskeeper, Tim Kohlmann. The 2020 season was Campbell’s third year as head groundskeeper after working under Nick Baker since the spring of 2017. Campbell wasted no time making his own mark on CHS Field. During his first full season at the helm, in 2018, CHS Field was awarded one of the highest honors in the industry, Sports Turf Managers Association Professional Baseball Field of the Year.
Campbell’s award-winning work is on display each day and he’s had to navigate more than just Saints games. Despite many events cancelled in 2020, the Saints put on the Senior Class Salute, an opportunity for high school seniors to play in one final tournament. Campbell and his staff maintained the field which took a beating during 55 games over a two-week period that began on July 20. While that was going on, the Minnesota Twins were using CHS Field for their taxi squad, daily workouts that began on July 2. The Saints finally returned home on August 4 and hosted 21 games over 38 days. Campbell, and his staff, had to balance the Twins workouts in the morning with the Saints games in the evening. Once the Twins were done with their workouts, Campbell prepped the field for the Saints, and their opponent, to take batting practice and be able to play that night’s game.
Prior to the 2020 season the Saints hosted Destination Winter Saint Paul, a 10-week event from the beginning of December through late February, that placed a skating rink on the infield and a slide, covered in snow, that began on the patio of the Securian Financial Club and descended onto the field in shallow right field.
There were a total of 36 votes: 12 American Association managers, a media representative from each team, and all 12 Executives.