Blanton Earns Second PCL Turf Manager of the Year Honor
ROUND ROCK, Texas.-For the second time in three seasons, Reno Aces Grounds Manager Eric Blanton has been named 2011 Pacific Coast League Sports Turf Manager of the Year, the league office announced today.
Blanton earned the award in 2009, the club's inaugural season and his first at the Triple-A level. He finished second in the 2010 season before being given the top honor again in 2011.
The Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award is voted on by the 16 field managers in the PCL and is judged by the voters on criteria including pregame setup for batting practice and infield practice, preparation and maintenance of all areas of the playing surface for the game and professionalism of the grounds crew.
Blanton came to the Aces in 2009 after spending four seasons with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. While in New Hampshire, Blanton twice was named Eastern League Turf Manager of the Year. In 2007, Minor League Baseball honored him as the Double-A Turf Manager of the Year.
Blanton, who studied turfgrass management at Walla Walla Community College, began his baseball career with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League in 2001. He then joined the grounds crew with the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping prepare famed Dodger Stadium from 2002-2005.
With Blanton at the helm, the Aces Ballpark grounds crew also includes Assistant Turf Manager Dan Kastens, Mike Bosco, Trevor Bradshaw, Marc Garcia, Joe Genung, Rob Hastings, Pete Oriarte, Beau Walker and Lane Pickel.
The first-place Aces continue their quest for a division championship tonight in Tucson. First pitch is set at 7 p.m. PT, and the action can be heard live on Fox Sports Radio 630 AM or online at www.RenoAces.com.
Reno returns home for the final regular season homestand of the year beginning Monday, August 29, at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for all Aces games, including the 2011 Pacific Coast League playoffs, are available today at RenoAces.com, the Aces Ballpark Box Office or by phone at (775) 334-7000. Discounted group tickets are also available.
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