Hey Heidi! How do they cut the Arch into the grass at Busch?

12:55 PM, Oct 19, 2012   |    comments
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By Heidi Glaus

St. Louis (KSDK) -- There are plenty of Major League Baseball fields with perfectly criss-crossed patterns or simple stripes, but there's only one outfield in America with an Arch. So, Heidi Glaus went to Busch Stadium to find out the answer to the most frequently asked Hey Heidi question.

"It shows a uniqueness to the ball field so when you see it on TV or the highlights you see that arch and you know it's in St. Louis," says Billy Findley, the head groundskeeper at Busch Stadium.

He's a man who might have more headaches than Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny, and there's one thing in particular Tylenol can't take care of.

The extra mower traffic it takes to create the arch was just too much for the turf until now.

So here's how they do it, it starts with a rather simple grid on paper.

"We measure out each baseline to a certain point. Then we measure from the base all the way to the top," Findley says.

Then they mark it with flags and start mowing.

"A lot of people think we're mowing different heights, we're painting it in different areas or we're using different kinds of grasses, but it's basically just the mower laying the grass blades in different directions. So when the light reflects off of it, you get that light or darker shade," explains Findley.

Justin and Dale will go over it until it's burned in, which is a technical term for until you can see it.

"If you're looking at a light colored strip that's the grass going away from you. The dark colored stripe it's coming towards you," Findley adds.

The base of each leg is 18 feet wide, but it gets smaller as you get to the top of the Arch, which only stretches six feet.

Of course this is just one of many jobs this crew of 11 has to tackle, they also roll, rake and water. But it's the Arch that seems to grab most people's attention.

"Now it's kind of one of those things when it's not there, I catch a lot of grief for it," Findley says.

If you have a Hey Heidi question, email Heidi Glaus at hglaus@ksdk.com.


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