October 31, 2017 - Southern League (SL) - Pensacola Blue Wahoos
PENSACOLA, Fla., - Following five straight seasons being named the Southern League Groundskeeper of the Year, Ray Sayre has been named Double-A Sports Turf Manager of the Year sponsored by the Sports Turf Managers Association and John Deere.
"It is such an honor to be recognized for not only my work, but for the work our entire grounds crew accomplishes," said Ray Sayre. "It has been amazing to see the organization go from construction of the stadium to winning a championship."
Recently named the Head Groundskeeper at Carpenter Complex, the spring training site of the Philadelphia Phillies and Gulf Coast League Phillies, Sayre worked with the Blue Wahoos since December of 2010, before the 2012 inaugural season at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
"We are thrilled for Ray to be recognized for his hard work that we were able to first hand for six seasons," said President Jonathan Griffith. "Ray created and maintained a first-class field for the Southern League teams to play on the past six years. I have never seen an employee so dedicated to the care and upkeep of a field."
"Our minor league members continually demonstrate uniqueness and skill while maintaining safe and playable surfaces," says Kim Heck, CAE, CEO of STMA. "The high-quality submissions illustrate the individual merits for winners and we're proud to honor their truly fantastic results."
With over 17 years of experience, Sayre joined the Blue Wahoos before the inaugural season during construction of the facility in December of 2010. Since 2013, Sayre has been voted Groundskeeper of the Year by Southern League managers and umpires.
Serving as a multi-use facility, the Blue Wahoos host over 120 games and events with Sayre leading the setup of all activities on the field, including University of West Florida Division II football.
Before making the move to Pensacola, Sayre previously worked for several minor league teams including the Louisville Bats, Greenville Drive and Bowling Green Hotrods. Growing up in Lexington, Ky., Sayre graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in Turfgrass Management.
Since 2000, STMA and MiLB have honored members who manage fields in Triple-A, Double-A, Single-A and Short Season or Rookie divisions. Winners are selected via a 13-member awards committee, compiled by STMA. Each nominee is independently scored on cultural practices, game day routine, resource utilization, staff management and the groundskeeper's involvement and support of the sports turf industry.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of the Southern League. For information on 2018 Blue Wahoos Season Tickets, please call 850-934-8444. Follow the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at BlueWahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall .